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Unemployment Benefits: Medical Examinations

Volume 507: debated on Monday 15 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many and what proportion of people claiming (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance attended a medical assessment in the latest period for which figures are available; (317621)

(2) how many and what proportion of people who made a successful claim for (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance attended a medical assessment in each year since 1997.

Incapacity benefit and employment and support allowance customers are not medically assessed by the Department, they are assessed to determine their functional capability. All claims must be assessed in order to qualify for continued entitlement. Information on the number of initial awards following these assessments is not available. The available information for incapacity benefit is provided in the following table:

Incapacity benefit scrutiny and completed examinations, Great Britain

Number

September 2005 to August 2006

816,043

September 2006 to August 2007

985,598

September 2007 to August 2008

1,068,920

September 2008 to August 2009

717,250

September to December 2009

140,423

Notes: 1. Management Information held by the Department does not separately identify Personal Capability Assessments in respect of initial claims to benefit, as all referrals were in respect of customers in receipt of incapacity benefit. 2. Excludes Work Focused Health Related Assessments. 3. Data relate to the number of completed medical examinations and paper scrutiny clearances completed by Atos Healthcare. Source: DWP medical services contract management information.

For employment and support allowance claims we have data on claims from the introduction of employment and support allowance on 27 October 2008 to May 2009. The main data relating to Work Capability Assessment claims are published at:

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/esa_wca/esa_wca_19012010.pdf

A copy of this report has also been placed in the Library.