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Social Security Benefits: Obesity

Volume 488: debated on Monday 2 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of claimants of both employment and support allowance and incapacity benefit whose capability of work is limited by obesity. (259125)

Causes of incapacity are based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, published by the World Health Organisation. To qualify for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work which is called the Personal Capability Assessment. Therefore, the medical condition recorded on the incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claim form does not itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefits. For example, the decision for a customer claiming incapacity benefit on the grounds of obesity would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities in the Personal Capability Assessment.

DWP will be publishing National Statistics on Employment and Support Allowance in summer 2009.

As at August 2008, of the 2,632,000 claimants of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, 2,130 claimants had a primary diagnosis of obesity.


Data is rounded to the nearest 10.


DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. WPLS