Unemployment Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30th March 2010.

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Photo of Theresa May Theresa May Shadow Minister (Women), Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been claiming (a) an out-of-work benefit and (b) a combination of different out-of-work benefits continuously since 1997.

Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (the South West), Regional Affairs, Minister of State (the South West), Department for Work and Pensions, Minister of State (Regional Affairs) (South West), The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

holding answer 14 December 2009

The number of people claiming one of the key out-of-work benefits has fallen by over 350,000 since 1997.

The available information is in the following table.

Number claiming jobseeker's allowance, incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance, or income support for 12 years and over, as at August 2009
Jobseeker 370
Incapacity benefits 661,190
All other income support 77,070

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Benefits are arranged hierarchically and claimants are assigned to the topmost benefit which they receive.

3. For this analysis the claim start date has been used.

4. Job seeker-claimant of job seeker's allowance.

5. Incapacity benefits-claimant of either incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance.

6. Income support-claimants of income support not included in the incapacity benefits figure.


DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Although this group of benefits are generally known as out-of-work benefits, income support and jobseeker's allowance claimants can work for up to 16 hours a week. Where appropriate, those on incapacity benefits can also do some work under the permitted work rules.

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