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Incapacity Benefit

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1382W, on incapacity benefit, what the total monetary value of the benefits paid to claimants whose recorded diagnosis includes drug dependency was in each of the last five years. (241855)

Drug dependency does not of itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefits. The medical assessment of incapacity for work is the personal capability assessment. This assesses the effects of a person's condition on their ability to carry out a number of everyday activities relevant to work. A majority of people with a recorded diagnosis of drug dependency also have other diagnoses, for example mental illness, which results in their incapacity for work.

We do record the diagnosis of incapacity that is written on a claimant's medical certificate. The available information is in the table.

Estimated incapacity benefits expenditure on claimants whose diagnosis includes drug dependency (nominal terms)

£ million

2003-04

186

2004-05

189

2005-06

188

2006-07

190

2007-08

195

Notes:

1. Incapacity benefits includes incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance payable to working-aged adults.

2. Figures include incapacity related income support expenditure for Credits Only claims.

3. Figures are rounded to the nearest £ million.

4. Estimates are based on information from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study and published DWP benefit expenditure tables.

5. The expenditure figures are consistent with PBR 2008. DWP benefit expenditure tables can be accessed at:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/expenditure.asp