28/11/2003

Quarter of NI people claim key benefits

Latest survey figures have revealed that nearly a quarter of working people in Northern Ireland are claiming at least one key benefit.

The figures are the latest in a series of statistical reports, entitled 'Northern Ireland Client Group Analysis' which have been released by the Statistics and Research Branch of the Department for Social Development.

They contain information on people of working age, their children and people of pensionable age receiving at least one key benefit in February 2003.

Some of the main findings include:
  • The proportion of the working age population claiming at least one key benefit was 22% in Northern Ireland compared to 14% in Great Britain in February 2003
  • More men than women were claimants (122,340 men, 104,860 women)
  • The number of unemployed claimants has fallen from 41,740 in February 2000 to 34,540 in February 2003. The number of lone parent claimants has also fallen over this period
  • People of working age claiming sickness and/or disability benefits made up 67% of the overall total in Northern Ireland compared to 61% in Great Britain
  • The number of claimants with children has fallen from 73,180 in February 2000 to 70,280 in February 2003
  • The number of people over state pension age classified as sick and disabled rose by 8% from 114,872 to 124,338 between February 2000 and February 2003
The key benefits for persons of working age and their children are Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Income Support.

The key benefits for persons of pensionable age are Attendance Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Income Support and Retirement Pension.

These analyses are based on data collected through the administration of the individual key benefits, which are available to persons of working age and persons over state pension age with the main exception of Widow’s and Bereavement Benefits and Housing Benefit.

(MB)

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