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Unemployment Benefits

Volume 508: debated on Wednesday 24 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many new claims there were for (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance in each year since 1997. (317648)

We are currently looking closely at the process of migrating incapacity benefits customers to employment and support allowance, to develop a detailed strategy.

We are using the work capability assessment in employment and support allowance to fairly and accurately assess an individual's functional capability and therefore their entitlement to benefit. The assessment will correctly identify those people who have limited capability for work because of a physical or mental health condition, and will ensure that people who are able to undertake work related activity receive the support they need to help them prepare to get into work.

The available information is in the tables.

Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance commencements—Great Britain and abroad since 1997

Number of commencements

1997

981,100

1998

849,700

1999

815,400

2000

791,900

2001

762,600

2002

726,300

2003

707,500

2004

673,700

2005

626,100

2006

603,900

2007

619,000

2008

560,700

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Years are based on the sum of four quarters ending February, May, August and November.

3. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008.

4. Data will include those claimants who make another claim to incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance within 90 days of their previous claim terminating.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions, Information Directorate, 5 per cent. sample.

Number of employment and support allowance commencements—Great Britain and abroad

Number of commencements

2008

54,150

Total 2009 (year to date)1

466,970

1 Provisional

Source: Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Survey

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest ten.

2. Data published at

http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/tabtool.asp

3. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008.

4. Data are only available for the first three quarters of 2009, so the 2009 total is the total in the year to date.

5. The figures relating to employment support allowance have been thoroughly quality assured to National Statistics standard. However it should be noted that this is a new benefit using a new data source which may not have reached steady state in terms of operational processing and retrospection. Hence most recent data shown are provisional.