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Employment and Support Allowance

Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons 36 per cent. of employment support allowance cases conducted between October 2008 and February 2009 were closed before their assessment was completed. (318174)

A detailed breakdown of the information is not available.

There are many reasons why a claim may be closed before the assessment is complete, including people that only need to claim benefit for a short period of time due to a short-term illness or those who claim employment and support allowance completely in error.

As part of the evaluation of employment and support allowance we will be conducting research to examine in more detail those claims that are withdrawn before the assessment is completed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she expects a system for the central holding of information relating to personal capability assessment and claims for incapacity benefit to be introduced. (318175)

We do not expect to develop a system that would track individuals claiming incapacity benefit through the assessment process. Incapacity benefit was replaced by employment support allowance for new claimants in October 2008 and systems have been put in place for the tracking of people who claim employment support allowance. We do not intend to put systems in place for retrospectively tracking the result of assessment for historical claims.