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Incapacity Benefit

Volume 499: debated on Wednesday 11 November 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the average clearance time for the processing of (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance claims has been in each month since April 2009; (297351)

(2) for what reason Jobcentre Plus performance targets for 2009-10 do not include a target for the actual average clearing time for the processing of (a) incapacity benefit and (b) employment and support allowance claims.

The available information is in the following table.

2009

Month

Incapacity benefit average actual clearance time (days)

April

22.91

May

22.90

June

21.46

July

20.33

August

29.06

September

12.46

Note:

It should be noted that this is internal Jobcentre Plus Management Information and as such should only be used as an indication of actual performance.

Source:

Management Information System Programme 30.10.09

We are currently exploring whether we can develop some official statistics on processing times for employment and support allowance new claims which could be published in the near future.

We did not include incapacity benefit in the published average actual clearance time target in 2009-10 because the introduction of the new employment and support allowance meant the volumes of new incapacity benefit claims represented a diminishing aspect of our business delivery.

We did not include employment and support allowance in the published average actual clearance time targets for 2009-10 because it is a new benefit with no historical management information that could be used to inform a target level. Employment and support allowance claims will be included in the published average clearance time measure from April 2010.