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Incapacity Benefit

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people began a claim for (a) incapacity benefit and (b) disability living allowance in each of the last 12 months, broken down by category of incapacity; (226163)

(2) how many people began to claim disability living allowance in each of the last 60 months, broken down by disability.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were (a) passed as eligible for, (b) examined before being passed as eligible for and (c) on incapacity benefit and disability living allowance in (i) 2006-07 and (ii) 2007-08. (228246)

Incapacity benefit is generally awarded initially on the basis of a medical certificate and the claimant meeting the contribution conditions. Referral for the personal capability assessment takes place once incapacity benefit has been awarded.

The available information on new claims is in the following tables.

New claims for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, Great Britain

Quarter ending

Number

May 2006

145,400

August 2006

152,300

November 2006

161,900

February 2007

149,400

May 2007

150,900

August 2007

157,700

November 2007

158,400

February 2008

123,500

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. It has not been possible to supply this data on a financial year basis, due to the way datasets were created.

3. Figures for the latest quarter do not include any late notifications and are subject to major changes in future quarters. For illustration purposes, total commencements for May 2004 increased by 18 per cent. in the year following their initial release.

4. The best statistics on benefits are now derived from 100 per cent. data sources. However, the 5 per cent. sample data still provide some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent. data sources. Figures are subject to a high degree of sampling error and should only be used as a guide.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample.

Disability living allowance new awards, Great Britain

Quarter ending

Number

May 2006

54,200

August 2006

59,800

November 2006

57,700

February 2007

58,400

May 2007

57,800

August 2007

61,700

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred and have been uprated to be consistent with WPLS data.

2. Figures include people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example, if they are in hospital.

3. No scan data was available for November 2007. This means that it is not possible to determine on-flows from August 2007 to November 2007 and from November 2007 to February 2008.

4. The best statistics on benefits are now derived from 100 per cent. data sources. However, the 5 per cent. sample data still provide some detail not yet available from the 100 per cent. data sources. Figures are subject to a high degree of sampling error and should only be used as a guide.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample.

Disability living allowance awards where the customer was examined by a health care professional, Great Britain

Number

2006-07

20,628

2007-08

18,149

Source:

The Disability Living Allowance Legacy Computer System.

It is not possible to provide details about the number of individuals who became entitled to both incapacity benefit and disability living allowance. Information about the number of people who receive both disability living allowance and incapacity benefit is in the following table.

Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance and disability living allowance (entitled cases)

Number

May 2006

1,288,510

August 2006

1,290,810

November 2006

1,299,010

February 2007

1,299,760

May 2007

1,301,180

August 2007

1,307,730

November 2007

1,314,210

February 2008

1,312,080

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Disability living allowance figures represent all people with an entitlement, including cases where the payment has been suspended, for example, if they are in hospital.

Source:

WPLS 100 per cent. data

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time was for incapacity benefit applications in each quarter of each of the last five years (a) in total and (b) in each of the smallest geographical areas for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (231032)

From 2003 to 2006 the lowest geographical area for which figures are available was at a district level. From 2006 to date the lowest geographical area for which figures are available is at benefit delivery centre (BDC) level.

The information has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the completion date of the reassessment of incapacity benefit recipients via work capability assessment. (231509)

In the Green Paper ‘No-one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility’, Cm 7363, we proposed a process for migrating existing incapacity benefit claimants onto the employment and support allowance. As part of that process we proposed the application of the work capability assessment. The consultation period for this Green Paper ended on 22 October and we will be publishing our response to the consultation as soon as possible. We would expect the process of migration to be completed by the end of 2013, if we decide to proceed as proposed.