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Employment and Support Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 3rd May 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what estimate has been made of the number of recipients of contributory employment and support allowance in the work-related activity group (a) with and (b) without one year time-limiting in force in each financial year from 2011-12 to 2015-16;

(2) what estimate has been made of the proportion of contributory employment and support allowance recipients in the work-related activity group who will be affected by a one-year time limit.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

As part of the Welfare Reform Bill, we have set out our intention to introduce a time limit of one year for those claiming contributory employment and support allowance (ESA) and who are placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG).

The following table shows the estimated future recipients of contributory ESA in the Work Related Activity Group and Assessment Phase with and without time-limiting in force. Assessment Phase cases have been included as the legislation intends for them to be eligible for time-limiting if their duration on contributory ESA is 12 months or more. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 50,000 claimants and are based on Budget 2011 forecasts.

Contributory ESA caseload in the WRAG/Assessment Phase With time limiting in force Without time limiting in force
2011-12 400,000 400,000
2012-13 350,000 600,000
2013-14 400,000 800,000
2014-15 350,000 900,000
2015-16 200,000 900,000

The legislation intends for all recipients of contributory ESA in the WRAG to be eligible for time-limiting after 12 months. It is estimated that in steady state, without time-limiting, around 77% of contributory ESA claimants in the Work Related Activity Group or Assessment Phase would have a duration of 12 months or more. However, latest estimates suggest that of those affected by the proposal to time limit contributory ESA, around 60% are expected to be fully or partially compensated by income-related ESA, so will retain entitlement to ESA.

More information is available in the ESA Time-Limiting Impact Assessment published on the Department for Work and Pensions website, at the following link:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/legislation-and-key-documents/welfare-reform-bill-2011/index.shtml#ia

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