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Social Security Benefits: Disabled

Volume 507: debated on Tuesday 9 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of claimants of (a) incapacity benefit and (b) severe disablement allowance have left the benefit for employment in each of the last five years. (318796)

[holding answer 25 February 2010]: The Department does not have the data highlighting the destinations of off-flows from incapacity benefits. One of the primary reasons for this is that not everyone leaving benefits tells the Department their destination. The Department has carried out research into other sources of information on destinations, but the results so far are not sufficiently complete for regular publication.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the primary work limiting condition was for claimants of (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance in the latest period for which information is available; (319023)

(2) what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of claimants of (i) incapacity benefit and (ii) employment and support allowance in each main disease group.

[holding answer 26 February]: To qualify for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work called the personal capability assessment. Therefore, the medical condition recorded on the claim form does not in itself confer entitlement to benefit. This means that the decision for a customer who has claimed incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance would be based on their ability to carry out a range of activities in the personal capability assessment. Causes of incapacity are based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, published by the World Health Organisation. Data by medical conditions is not yet available for employment and support allowance. The available information is in the table.

Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants by published diagnosis group Great Britain and abroad—August 2009


Proportion of all diagnosis

Certain infectious and parasitic diseases






Diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism



Endocrine, nutritional and



metabolic diseases

Mental and behavioural Disorders



Diseases of the nervous System



Diseases of the eye and adnexa



Diseases of the ear and mastoid process



Diseases of the circulatory system



Diseases of the respiratory system



Diseases of the digestive system



Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system



Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue



Diseases of the genitourinary system



Pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium



Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period



Congenital malformations, deformations and chromosomal abnormalities



Symptoms, signs and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings, not elsewhere classified



Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes



Factors influencing health status and contact with health services




1 Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and proportions to one decimal place.

2 Data published at


Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 25 February 2010, Official Report, column 84WS, on exportability of disability benefits, what estimate she has made of the number of claimants who lost entitlement to (a) carer's allowance, (b) the disability living allowance higher care component and (c) attendance allowance when they moved to another European Economic Area country or to Switzerland between 8 March 2001 and 18 October 2007; and what estimate she has made of the total monetary value of such payments (i) since 18 October 2007 and (ii) in each of the next three years. (320159)

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) decided in October 2007 that the disability benefits (disability living allowance care component, attendance allowance and carer's allowance) are sickness benefits and may be paid to people who leave the UK to live elsewhere in the European Economic Area or Switzerland providing certain conditions are met. This includes a requirement that customers making a new claim have been in the UK for 26 weeks out of the past 52 weeks.

After careful consideration we have decided to take a different approach on cases where people lost entitlement to a disability benefit when they moved to another EEA state or Switzerland before 18 October 2007 (the date of the ECJ judgment) but no earlier than 8 March 2001.

We accept that these people will have been in the UK for 26 out of the previous 52 weeks when they left the UK. We therefore no longer require that they should satisfy this condition at the date they seek reinstatement, providing they continued to meet the other relevant domestic and EU law eligibility requirements throughout the period their claim was disallowed. Payment will be considered from 18 October 2007.

We do not have the information in the form requested. We currently hold data on 4,000 to 5,000 people who have moved to another EEA member state since 2002 and lost entitlement to a disability benefit. We estimate that the total monetary value of payments to these cases, from 18 October 2007 to the end of March 2010, could be between £30 million and £40 million. In 2010-11 the cost could be between £12 million and £15 million, reducing to between £10 and £13 million and £8 to £11 million in 2011-12 and 2012-13 respectively.

However, the data we hold may not be complete. We will monitor the numbers of people seeking payment of benefits they had earlier lost and will revise our estimates as necessary.