Employment and Support Allowance

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 27th March 2014.

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Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of initial employment and support allowance claims have taken over 91 days in each of the last three years for which figures are available.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The table estimates, for all new employment and support allowance (ESA) claims made in each of the last three years, which have had a determination in relation the work capability assessment (WCA), the proportion of claims that were completed in over 91 days.

Number and proportion of completed initial ESA claims each year between April 2010 and March 2013 that were completed in more than 13 weeks by year of claim start date
  ESA claim start date between:
  April 2010 to March 2011 April 2011 to March 2012 April 2012 to March 2013
Completed in more than 13 weeks 231,700 316,000 364,700
Percentage completed in more than 13 weeks 58 83 78
Notes: 1. All values are rounded; therefore addition of all volumes for outcomes may not sum to total cases. Caseload volumes have been rounded to the nearest 100. 2. For around 10% of all new claims, the duration cannot be determined due to data not being available, so these have been excluded from the analysis above. These are mainly claims with the one or other of the dates missing so the time from the claim start to the notification of the WCA output cannot be calculated. Those still waiting for an assessment are also excluded. 3. The data presented above come from benefit claims data held by the Department for Work and Pensions. They related to new ESA claims; incapacity benefit (IB) claims reassessments are not included. In October 2008, ESA replaced IB for new claims. Starting with a trial in October 2010, and reaching a full scale national roll-out in April 2011, existing IB claims began to be phased out, with claimants reassessed to see if they qualify for ESA instead. 4. As the Official Statistics on ESA and the WCA do not focus on benefit durations, the underlying data used to provide the information has not been quality assured to the same level, and should be treated with caution. 5. ESA payments commence from the start of the claim. Where the WCA takes longer than 91 days and the claimant is found to be eligible for the benefit payments the relevant component will be backdated to the 92nd day. Source: Department for Work and Pensions benefit administration dataset.

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