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Welfare Reform and Pensions Act 1999

Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA)

A non-contributory, non means-tested benefit, paid to people who cannot work because of illness or disability, and who have been unable to pay sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for Incapacity Benefit (IB). For people who become incapable of work before the age of 20, the qualifying test of “incapacity” is the same for SDA as for IB—but those aged 20 and over must additionally be assessed by a doctor as “80% disabled”.

Section 65 abolishes SDA for new claimants, while providing the power to protect the benefit for existing claimants. Section 64 allows 16-19 year olds (and other specified people below the age of 25) who would currently receive SDA to receive Incapacity Benefit instead.

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