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Volume 718: debated on Thursday 25 March 2010


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people were in receipt of incapacity benefit as a result of mental health problems in each of the past five years. [HL2714]

Causes of incapacity are based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, published by the World Health Organisation. To qualify for incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, claimants have to undertake a medical assessment of incapacity for work which is called the personal capability assessment. Therefore, the medical condition recorded on the incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claim form does not itself confer entitlement to incapacity benefits, so for example, the decision for a customer claiming benefit on the grounds of a mental and behavioural disorder would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities in the personal capability assessment.

The number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants with a main disabling condition as a mental or behavioural disorder as at August in each year since 2005—Great Britain and abroad.


All cases

Mental and Behavioural disorders

August 2005



August 2006



August 2007



August 2008



August 2009



Source: Department for Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent data.


1. The figures are based on data derived from the Incapacity Reference Guide for Decision Makers. The guide is based on the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD -10). The relevant section does not differentiate between mental and behavioural disorders.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

3. Employment and support allowance replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. Data by medical condition are not currently available for employment and support allowance/

4. Figures are published at