Perspective MR appointed me as a freelance on a project for LE Wales, which is an economics and policy consultancy based in Wales. The project required qualitative research to inform decisions on forthcoming benefit reviews.
Despite a long history of provision of Attendance Allowance (AA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) (introduced in 1971 and 1992, respectively), very little research has been undertaken into the role these benefits played in meeting the needs of older people, or the impact the benefits had on the demand for social care and individuals’ ability to pay for personal care.
Assessing the impact of change
The purpose of the six focus groups was to gain insight to fill the identified evidence gap in the knowledge base as to the how older people in Wales use the income received from welfare benefits (such as AA and DLA), in combination with social care, personal wealth and other income (e.g. pension), to address their care needs.
The Wales-specific evidence base formed in this research was designed to subsequently be used as the basis for assessment of likely impacts of any proposed changes to the benefits regime (on individuals, the social care system and on the wider Welsh economy) and to inform evaluation of any proposals from the UK Government for reforming these benefits.