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Work Capability Assessment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th November 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 pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Aberdeen South (Dame Anne Begg) of 1 November 2011, Official Report, columns 523-4W, on work capability assessment, if he will publish the data on the number of work capability assessments for reassessed incapacity benefit claimants which were carried out in each week since February 2011.

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

Up to the week commencing 14 November 191,000 work capability assessments (WCA) resulting from reassessment had been completed. After the WCA, the decision on entitlement to benefit is taken by a DWP decision maker.

No official statistics are available on WCA completed for IB reassessment claimants so the information on the number of WCA completed above is from the Department's Management Information System. It relates to those assessments where Atos have made a recommendation based on either a face to face assessment or cleared by scrutiny of the customer's medical questionnaire. It does not include those customers whose WCA recommendations were returned to Jobcentre Plus because they had not complied with the process.

A weekly or monthly breakdown of the Management Information is not reliable because the data are captured cumulatively. Therefore assessments undertaken within one week might only be updated in the data as completed in subsequent weeks.

Due to the overall length of the incapacity benefits reassessment process, information on the entire process including the final outcomes and subsequent destinations of claimants being reassessed is not yet available. The Department plans to publish data on the outcomes of the reassessment process, but only once it has been quality assured and is considered robust.

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