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Work Capability Assessment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th November 2011.

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Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were refused employment and support allowance following an assessment carried out by Atos and subsequently appealed the decision in (a) England and (b) Makerfield constituency in the latest period for which figures are available.

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

Decisions on entitlement to employment and support allowance (ESA) using the work capability assessment (WCA) rest solely with the Department's decision makers taking into account the medical assessment reports from Atos and any other relevant information.

Table 1 provides details of initial WCAs completed and appeals heard for claims starting between October 2008 and August 2010 (the latest data for which sufficient volumes of appeals have been heard for publication). Information is not available at parliamentary constituency level, so information for Wigan local authority has been given instead.

Table 1: Outcomes of initial work capability assessment and appeals for England and Wigan local authority for claims starting between October 2008 and August 2010
England Wigan local authority
All completed WCAs 609,100 5,500
Fit for work 373,500 3,300
Assessed as fit for work (percentage) 61 61
Appeals heard(1) 142,100 1,200
Fit for work with an appeal heard(1) (percentage) 38 38
(1) To date. Notes: 1. The Department regularly publishes official statistics on the employment and support allowance (ESA) work capability assessment at the national level. The latest report, published in October 2011 and can be found here: 2. The data presented above comes from benefit claims data held by the Department for Work and Pensions, functional assessment data from Atos Healthcare and appeals data from the Tribunals Service. 3. Data on appeals includes ESA claims started from October 2008 up to the end of August 2010 (the latest month where we have sufficient volumes of appeals heard to include in the publication) where the person claiming has been assessed to be Fit for Work, they subsequently appeal the Department's decision and the appeal has been heard by Tribunals Service. 4. Due to the time it takes for appeals to be submitted to the Tribunals Service and heard, it is likely that there are more appeals that have not yet been heard. Therefore these figures should be treated as emerging findings rather than final at this stage. 5. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 100 and are consistent with the official statistics publication referred to in note 1. above.

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