§ Mr. Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the take-up of disability working allowance; and what plans he has to improve the allowance.
§ Mr. Scott
Disability working allowance was introduced in April 1992. By 30 April 1994, 43,088 applications had been received and 12,416 claims had been successful.
We have announced six changes to improve the benefit. From October 1994 we will introduce a child care costs disregard of £40 which could increase disability working allowance by up to £28 a week. From April 1995 there will be automatic remission of NHS charges for those with savings of £8,000 or less, access to disability working allowance will be extended for those undertaking training for work, the rate for couples and lone parents will be increased from £63.75 to £72.10 a week, the threshold for single people will be increased from £43.00 to £53.75 and we will introduce a disabled child's premium of £19.45 a week.
These are significant improvements to the benefit.