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Jobseeker's Allowance

Volume 491: debated on Monday 20 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to the answer of 26 November 2008, Official Report, column 1995W, on jobseeker's allowance, how many claimants were paid UK contribution-based jobseeker's allowance by the Employment Service in each EU member state in each of the last five years; and how much was spent on such payments to claimants in each EU member state. (254175)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what percentage of claimants of jobseeker's allowance have been excused from meeting jobseeker's allowance rules in each month of the last two years for which information is available; (261014)

(2) how many and what percentage of claimants of jobseeker's allowance have been excused from meeting jobseeker's allowance rules in each month of the last two years for which information is available;

(3) how many and what percentage of claimants of jobseeker's allowance have been excused from meeting jobseeker's allowance rules in each year since 1997 for which information is available.

The information requested is not available. There is no policy in place which allows jobseekers to be excused from meeting jobseeker's allowance rules although different rules can apply in different circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people who began to claim jobseeker’s allowance in each month between October 2005 and September 2008 claimed for a period of (a) less than three months and (b) between three and six months. (262571)

Figures are available broken down by quarter. The available information is in the table.

Number of jobseeker’s allowance claimants by each quarter, by duration of claim

Unknown duration

0 to3 months

3 to 6 months

Over 6 months

November 2005

4,800

95,800

119,800

142,600

February 2006

4,800

113,900

117,300

125,700

May 2006

5,300

94,800

108,500

109,000

August 2006

4,700

123,400

107,600

118,000

November 2006

6,700

104,600

126,800

120,300

February 2007

13,600

124,100

120,300

92,300

May 2007

19,000

101,500

103,900

71,000

August 2007

27,100

120,100

74,100

70,200

November 2007

n/a

n/a

n/a

n/a

February 2008

87,400

114,800

113,100

26,000

May 2008

167,500

111,300

50,400

n/a

August 2008

285,700

19,100

n/a

n/a

n/a = Not available

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

2. Figures for November 2007 are not available due to jobseeker’s allowance data for that quarter not being received by IFD.

3. Figures for August 2008 will be revised when the new quarter’s data are released.

4. Data shown are quarterly due to the frequency of the 5 per cent. data.

5. Caution should exercised when looking at the August 2008 quarter as this maybe deficient due to a proportion of claims being received late. 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 (IFD), 5 per cent. sample.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in (a) the UK, (b) England and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in 2009-10. (262928)

The information requested is not available.

While we do not predict future levels of unemployment, we are planning for the impact of higher levels of jobseeker’s allowance claims in the coming months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of jobseeker's allowance claimants identified as having a drug addiction in each of the last five years. (264369)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people claiming jobseeker’s allowance are above the age of 50. (267269)

As at February 2009, there are 216,690 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance in Great Britain aged 50 and over.

Notes:

1. Number of claimants rounded to nearest five.

2. Data is published at: https://www.nomisweb.co.uk

3. Figures exclude clerical cases.

Source:

100 per cent. count of claimants of unemployment-related benefits, Jobcentre Plus computer systems (computer held cases only).

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time between submission of a claim for jobseeker’s allowance and the claimant receiving the first jobseeker’s allowance payment was in the last period for which figures are available. (267700)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mel Groves:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what the average time between submission of a claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) being submitted and the claimant receiving the first Jobseeker’s Allowance payment was in the last period for which figures are available. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The measurement of performance we use for JSA is known as the Actual Average Clearance Time (AACT). This is a calculation derived from an average of all the cases processed on our benefit processing system against the time each of those cases has taken to be processed. For JSA the two dates used to calculate this average are from the initial date of contact by the customer (i.e. their call to one of our Contact Centres) to the date a decision is made on their claim and a letter of eligibility is issued to them.

We cannot measure when the customer actually receives their first payment. The payment will be issued, if the customer is eligible, on the date a letter is issued. Monies will become available to the customer once they have passed through the banking clearance system for the relevant bank/building society or the Post Office Card Account, or when the postal system delivers a cheque payment for the customer to cash.

The AACT for JSA currently stands at 10.5 days (in month at February 2009) and 10.2 days (year to date). This is within the target of 11.5 days.