Incapacity Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 22nd October 2008.

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Photo of James Clappison James Clappison Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of incapacity benefit claimants had been in receipt of incapacity benefit for five years or more in the last year for which figures are available.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People; Minister for the South East), Department for Work and Pensions

A holding reply was sent 22 October 2008.

The available information is in the following table. Of new claimants coming onto incapacity benefits, well over half will leave within a year. Those who have been on benefit for over five years will include the most severely disabled. This group has much greater barriers to work and understandably remain on incapacity benefits for longer durations.

The Green Paper "No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility", Cm 7363, announced our intention to extend our reforms to existing customers, and ensure that they too benefit from the help and support available. We will begin this by introducing, in 2009, mandatory pathways to work interviews for existing customers under aged 25. By 2013 all customers will have been migrated from incapacity benefits to employment and support allowance and as part of that most will be required to engage with us in a pathways to work style programme.

Number of incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants with a duration of five years or more
Quarter All durations Duration 5 years or more Duration of 5 years or more as a percentage of total caseload
May 2007 2,685,320 1,509,360 56
August 2007 2,683,160 1,504,630 56
November 2007 2,683,750 1,504,880 56
February 2008 2,659,650 1,500,220 56

1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10,

2. Totals may not sum due to rounding.


DWP information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

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