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Evaluation of the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (DPTC): A Survey of Recipients
Atkinson J, Meager N, Dewson S
a report for the Inland Revenue
This report sets out the results from a representative survey of 1,315 recipients of the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (DPTC) conducted during the summer and autumn of 2001. It forms part of a comprehensive programme launched by the Revenue to monitor and evaluate Working Families Tax Credit (WFTC) and DPTC.
DPTC was introduced in October 1999, and at the time of the research nearly 27,000 individuals and households were receiving it. The research covered people who were receiving DPTC at the time and some who had received it but no longer did so; it did not cover unsuccessful applicants, however.
The personal characteristics of DPTC recipients were found to be similar to those of economically active disabled people in general, with the exceptions that:
The process through which they had found out about and applied for DPTC was generally found to be straightforward. Although 60 per cent of them knew about the DPTC helpline, only a quarter of them had needed to use it.
Similarly, of those who had needed to re-apply for a subsequent award of DPTC (it is paid in six-monthly awards) most reported no difficulty in re-applying.
Nine out of every ten respondents were economically active at the time of the fieldwork, with three-quarters working as employees and 13 per cent self-employed.
DPTC recipients were more likely to be working part-time than working disabled people generally. Half of those in work were working part-time (less than 30 hours a week) and half of them were working under 20 hours).
Nearly two-thirds of our respondents (61 per cent) said that they were not aware of the DPTC 30 hours credit for those working 30 hours or more; and only 13 per cent said that DPTC had encouraged them to work more hours than they would otherwise have done.
Conversely, among those not working when they found out about DPTC, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) said that DPTC had enabled them to work fewer hours than they otherwise would.
A substantial minority of the employees (18 per cent) were working in supported employment; mostly in an ordinary firm or organisation, but with the support of a caseworker.
Almost 80 per cent of all the respondents had found the DPTC they received to be either essential (43 per cent) or very helpful (36 per cent).
About one-third (32 per cent) reported that DPTC had allowed them to work, or had made work more worthwhile financially, either for themselves or their partner. A critical factor here is that nearly three-quarters of them (72 per cent) were already working when they first found out about DPTC. Among those who were not, it had proved to be a positive incentive to work for more than half.
We identified a high impact group, of 23 per cent, who claimed that they would not be doing their present job without DPTC. Furthermore, among them, DPTC was often the decisive factor in their decision to work or keep working. Women, older people, the self-employed, and most particularly, single parents, were over-represented in this high-impact group.
This and other DPTC reports are available at: www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/policy/index.htm
Evaluation of the Disabled Person’s Tax Credit (DPTC): A Survey of Recipients, Atkinson J, Meager N, Dewson S. Research Report 6, Inland Revenue, 2003.
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