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The take-up of multiple means-tested benefits by British pensioners. Evidence from the Family Resources Survey

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  • Ruth Hancock
  • Stephen Pudney
  • Geraldine Barker
  • Monica Hernandez
  • Holly Sutherland

    ()

Abstract

Non take-up of means-tested benefits among pensioners is of longstanding concern. It will assume increased importance from 2003 with the introduction of the new means-tested Pension Credit, which will subsume Income Support and to which about half of all pensioners are expected to be entitled. In this paper we use Family Resources Survey data spanning the period April 1997 to March 2000 to investigate patterns of take-up of the three main means-tested benefits to which pensioners may be entitled – Income Support (IS), Housing Benefit (HB) and Council Tax Benefit (CTB). We find that although 36% of pensioners in our sample are failing to claim their entitlements to at least one of these benefits, only 16% of non claimants are failing to claim amounts worth more than 10% of their income. The proportions by which claiming all entitlements would increase non- claimants’ incomes are more useful indicators than individual benefit take-up rates, of the effectiveness of means-tested benefits. In general take-up is high where entitlement is high. But there are exceptions to this which may reflect the claims process and/or a greater degree of social stigma associated with IS than with HB or CTB.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Leicester in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 03/7.

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Date of creation: Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:lec:leecon:03/7

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Keywords: benefit take-up; pensions; means-testing; welfare participation;

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Cited by:
  1. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2010. "No Claim, No Pain: Measuring the Non-Take-up of Social Assistance Using Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5355, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Ewoudou, Jacques & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Stigma and the take-up of social programs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4962, The World Bank.
  3. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2007. "How Tight Are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Olivier Bargain, 2009. "The Distributional Effects of Tax-benefit Policies under New Labour - A Shapley Decomposition," Working Papers 200907, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. repec:ese:emodwp:em4-05 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:ese:emodwp:em2-09 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Tomer Blumkin & Efraim Sadka & Yoram Margalioth, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," Working Papers 0806, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Department of Economics.
  8. Michel, DE VROEY, 2006. "Getting Rid of Keynes ? A reflection on the history of macroeconomics," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006051, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  9. Laurence, JACQUET, 2006. "Optimal disability assistance when fraud and stigma matter," Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) 2006052, Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques.
  10. Holly Sutherland & Miles Corak & Christine Lietz & UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, 2005. "The Impact of Tax and Transfer Systems on Children in the European Union," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa05/30, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
  11. Antoine Terracol, 2009. "Guaranteed minimum income and unemployment duration in France," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00607219, HAL.
  12. Tomer Blumkin & Yoram Margalioth & Efraim Sadka, 2008. "The Role of Stigma in the Design of Welfare Programs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2305, CESifo Group Munich.

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