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House of Commons Hansard
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11 November 2009
Volume 499
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) England, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency have been on incapacity benefit for longer than 12 months; and how many had been transferred to incapacity benefit from jobseeker’s allowance. [297142]

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The table shows the number of people who have been on incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance for more than 12 months in each area.

Number of people receiving incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance for longer than 12 months in February 2009

Number

England

1,792,760

North East

130,620

Tees Valley

33,710

Middlesbrough, South and East Cleveland constituency

4,560

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10

2. Tees Valley is made up of the following local authorities:

Hartlepool

Middlesbrough

Darlington

Stockton-on-Tees

Redcar and Cleveland

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions Information Directorate

Information about the number of people who transferred from jobseeker’s allowance and have been on incapacity benefit for longer than 12 months could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when her Department introduced (a) mandatory Pathways to Work interviews and (b) new work capability assessments for existing incapacity benefit claimants under 25 years old; and how many and what proportion of such claimants have undergone (i) mandatory Pathways to Work interviews and (ii) new Work Capability Assessments. [298779]

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The regulations to support mandatory work-focused interviews for existing customers aged under 25 came into force on 26 October 2009. The regulations introduce mandatory conditionality to 18 to 24-year-old existing customers who have been in receipt of incapacity benefit (or income support on the grounds of incapacity) continuously for 12 months or more in the 40 per cent. of the country (Great Britain) covered by Jobcentre Plus Pathways to work areas. These customers are required to attend a mandatory series of three work-focused interviews.

Customers in Provider-Led Pathways offices are excluded and as with Pathways generally, the mandatory requirement will not apply to personal capability assessment exempt customers.

We are not able to supply figures regarding what proportion of customers have already undergone these mandatory work-focused interviews.

Work capability assessments are currently only for new claims to employment and support allowance and not for existing incapacity benefit customers.

We plan to migrate existing incapacity benefit customers, including those aged under 25, to employment and support allowance from October 2010.