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Jobseeker's Allowance/Incapacity Benefit

Volume 459: debated on Tuesday 1 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of people who made a new claim for incapacity benefit in the most recent year for which figures are available in (a) Pathways to Work pilot areas and (b) other areas were in work (i) six months and (ii) one year later; and how many there were (A) in total, (B) aged 25 to 49 and (C) aged over 50 years. (114623)

In estimating the impact of Pathways to Work, independent evaluation by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found a 9 percentage point increase in the proportion of those who are employed 10.5 months after claiming incapacity benefit.

The information in the table comes from data in the National Benefits Database and the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) which are likely to underestimate the numbers and proportions of people who satisfy the given criteria. Rollout of Pathways to Work has been a staged process and the figures therefore only represent the first two phases which rolled out on 24 October 2003 and 5 April 2004.

Proportion (percentage)

Total

Aged 25-49

Aged 50 and over

New claims to incapacity benefit in Pathways to Work pilot areas: April 2004-March 2005

In work six months later

22

11,560

5,950

3,400

In work one year later

26

13,830

7,190

4,040

New claims to incapacity benefit in other areas: April 2004-March 2005

In work six months later

20

110,100

57,880

31,190

In work one year later

24

129,310

68,180

36,500

Notes:

1. Data on employment are available to 26 November 2006. As such, the latest operational year of new claimants for which (a) and (c) are answerable is April 2004 to March 2005, and the latest operational year of claims reaching their first anniversary for which (b) and (d) are answerable is April 2003 to March 2004 (and thus relates to people making a new claim during April 2002 and March 2003).

2. The figures quoted in this response come from data in the National Benefits Database and the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).

3. Figures in this response are based upon periods of employment measured from the WPLS, which is based on data from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The figures given can only be taken as a minimum for the following (not necessarily comprehensive) reasons:

(i) Some records show that a person started or ended employment at some point in the year, but the exact date on when they started or left their job is unknown, and therefore we do not know if they were employed at the points in time specified in this query.

(ii) If a person’s earnings are sufficiently low that they fall below the lower income tax threshold and so are not required to pay PAYE income tax on their earnings then there is no requirement to inform HMRC of their employment (although some employers declare these jobs anyway).

(iii) These data do not include the self-employed.

(iv) Poor quality personal data may lead to missed matches with benefits data.

(v) No ‘HMRC sensitive and secure’ information is supplied by HMRC (for example, HMRC employees, members of the security services).