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Incapacity Benefit: Aberdeen

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th December 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 how the results of the incapacity benefit reassessment pilots in Aberdeen and Burnley informed the recalculation of the future costs of employment and support allowance reported at the Autumn Statement by the Office for Budget Responsibility; and if he will make a statement.

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

The first stage of incapacity benefit reassessment began in October 2010 with a trial involving 1,700 customers from the Burnley and Aberdeen benefit centres. This trial was designed to provide early indicators about customer and staff reactions to the reassessment process.

The data from the trial influenced changes to the initial assumptions for IB reassessment used in the expenditure forecasts. The trial results suggested the fit for work rate was higher than originally assumed. Additionally, a higher proportion of claimants being moved on to ESA were placed in the support group than initially assumed. However, the trial data need to be used with caution as they may not reflect the national picture. We will continue to monitor the assumptions used in the expenditure forecasts as more data become available.

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