New CSB Working Paper: Non-take up of the supplemental child benefit for children with a disability in Belgium: a mixed-method approach

05 Feb 2018

Families with disabled children run a greater risk of being poor, and although policies providing poor families with financial benefits should be effective in reducing poverty, the actual effectiveness is often jeopardized by the issue of non-take up (NTU). Yet, how NTU affects the impact of benefits aimed at disabled children is for the most part uncharted territory. In this article, we fill this gap using a mixed-methods approach to (i) estimate the magnitude and characteristics of NTU in the Belgian ‘supplemental child benefit’ by drawing on a large-scale administrative dataset on childhood disabilities; and (ii) explore the determinants of NTU by means of semi-structured interviews with experts. We estimate a NTU rate of at least 10%, a substantial figure given that the benefit is not income-tested. This mainly concerns children with ‘less visible disabilities’ (autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual and psychological disorders) and results from insufficient information provision about the benefit’s existence and eligibility criteria; process costs, for instance the long waiting period and complexity of the procedure; and the way the scale to assess a child’s disability is constructed.
Working Paper Authors: Julie Vinck, Jo Lebeer, Wim Van Lancker
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