Social Security Benefits: Drugs

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th January 2011.

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Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch Conservative, Chatham and Aylesford

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) how many problem drug users resident in (a) Chatham and Aylesford constituency, (b) Medway constituency and (c) Tonbridge and Malling constituency were in receipt of incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance in each year since 2005;

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people in (a) Medway constituency, (b) Tonbridge and Malling constituency and (c) Chatham and Aylesford constituency in receipt of out-of-work benefits who are unable to work as a result of (i) alcohol and (ii) drug dependency.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

As outlined in the Government's recently published 2010 Drug Strategy, substance dependency is one of the most damaging root causes of poverty, and helping people who are trapped on benefits through drug and alcohol addiction to recover and find employment is a top priority for this Government.

Such information as is available is presented in the following tables.

Information on the numbers of problem drug users (those using heroin and/or crack cocaine) who claim incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance is not available at the geographical breakdown requested. Table 1 shows the numbers of people in receipt of these benefits who declare that their main disabling condition is dependency on any drug. It should be noted that these figures represent a subset of all such claimants with a drug problem as those who do not report drug dependency as their main disabling condition are not captured.

Similarly, information on the number of people in receipt of out of work benefits, who are unable to work as a result of a drug or alcohol dependency, is not available at the geographical breakdown requested. Table 2 shows all claimants in receipt of disability benefits who have declared drug or alcohol abuse as the main disabling condition. These figures represent a subset of all working-age benefit recipients with a drug or alcohol dependency, as claimants who do not record these as their main disabling condition are not captured, nor are people on jobseeker's allowance or income support for whom this information is not recorded.

Table 1: Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants with drug abuse as main condition: May 2005-May 2010
Parliamentary constituency (pre-2010 boundaries) May 2005 May 2006 May 2007 May 2008 May 2009 May 2010
Chatham and Aylesford 50 50 60 70 60 60
Medway (Rochester and Strood for May 2010 figures only) 50 60 60 70 60 40
Tonbridge and Malling 10 20 20 20 10 10
Notes:

1. Data are rounded to the nearest 10 claimants.

2. These figures refer to claimants whose problems relate to any drugs (including prescription ones). Claimants who do not report drug dependency as their main disabling condition are not captured, meaning that these figures represent a subset of all such claimants with a drug problem.

3. Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance were replaced by employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants in October 2008.

4. Drug dependency does not of itself confer entitlement to disability benefits, this is determined by a persons capability or capacity for employment. Where individuals with a substance dependency are in receipt of such benefits it will be because they have other diagnoses, for example mental illness, which limit their capability for work.

5. Figures for May 2010 are for Rochester and Strood as the parliamentary constituency boundary for Medway was revised for the 2010 general election, and as a result was largely incorporated into Rochester and Strood by the Boundary Commission for England in 2010.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate 100% Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).

Table 2: Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance and employment and support allowance claimants with alcoholism or drug abuse as a main condition-May 2010
Parliamentary constituency (2010 boundaries) Alcoholism Drug abuse
Chatham and Aylesford 70 70
Rochester and Strood 60 60
Tonbridge and Malling 20 20
Notes:

1. Data are rounded to the nearest 10 claimants.

2. These figures refer to claimants whose problems relate to alcohol or any drugs (including prescription ones). Claimants who do not report drug or alcohol dependency as their main disabling condition are not captured, nor are people on JSA or IS for whom this information is not recorded, meaning that these figures represent a subset of all claimants with a drug or alcohol problem.

3. Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance were replaced by employment and support allowance (ESA) for new claimants in October 2008.

4. Drug or alcohol dependency does not of itself confer entitlement to disability benefits; this is determined by a persons capability or capacity for employment. Where individuals with a substance dependency are in receipt of such benefits it will be because they have other diagnoses, for example mental illness, which limit their capability for work.

5. Parliamentary constituency boundaries were revised for the 2010 General election. Medway constituency was largely incorporated in to Rochester and Strood by the Boundary Commission for England in 2010.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate 100% Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS).

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