Welfare reform official statistics

Details of DWP statistics that relate to the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

The welfare reform strategy has resulted in a number of additional statistical releases from DWP. This page provides links to all statistics which have been changed or newly produced due to welfare reform.

More detailed information on the statistics, which include future publication strategies for new statistics, can be accessed through the links.

The benefit cap

In April 2013, the government introduced a cap on the total amount of benefit that working-age people can get. This means that households on out-of-work benefits will no longer get more in welfare payments than the average weekly wage for working households.

The benefit cap publication strategy and statistics cover:

  • cumulative statistics on the number of households capped at GB and regional level and local authority
  • GB level figures by household type, number of children and amount of cap

Additional information is also provided on Jobcentre Plus activity with claimants potentially affected by the benefit cap

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced for new claimants in October 2008 and replaces other benefits paid on the grounds of incapacity (Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance and Income Support).

The Employment and Support Allowance: outcomes of Work Capability Assessment statistics show:

  • the outcomes of completed assessments for ESA
  • claims still in progress
  • claims closed before the assessment process is complete
  • appeals outcomes

From April 2013, these statistics combine:

  • assessments for ESA claims
  • reassessments of people on the older incapacity benefits for ESA

Universal Credit is a significant element of the welfare reform strategy. As several of the benefits currently measured will be combined into a single universal benefit, this will affect the statistic which estimates benefit take-up in the future.

These statistics currently provide estimates of the total and average amounts of benefit claimed and unclaimed for:

  • Income Support and income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit (including Local Housing Allowance)
  • Council Tax Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (income-based)

More information on the transition to Universal Credit for this statistic will be available in the future.

Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions

From October 2012, new sanctions rules for JSA introduced:

  • 3 categories of sanction – ‘higher’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘lower’ – depending on the nature of the offence
  • different levels of sanction for first, second and third offences
  • changes to the date a sanction starts

These new rules broadly align the rules for JSA sanctions with the rules for Universal Credit.

Jobseeker’s Allowance sanctions are published together with those for ESA sanctions and show:

  • JSA decisions and outcomes
  • ESA decisions and outcomes

Personal Independence Payment

From 8 April 2013, the government introduced a new benefit called Personal Independence Payment to replace Disability Living Allowance for eligible working age people aged 16 to 64.

The Personal Independence Payment statistics page provides more information including the strategy for the release of official statistics relating to Personal Independence Payment

Universal Credit

Universal Credit was introduced as a pathfinder in areas of the North West in April 2013.

DWP plan to make Universal Credit available in all parts of Great Britain during 2016. New claims to the existing benefits that it is replacing will then close down, with the vast majority of claimants moving onto Universal Credit during 2016 and 2017.

The Universal Credit statistics page provides further information about how the department will manage the release of Universal Credit statistics. It also shows statistics for the pathfinder areas by:

  • starts
  • total live caseload

Ministry of Justice appeals process

Three main changes have come about to the appeals process for DWP benefits and child maintenance.

DWP will reconsider all decisions before an appeal

This means that if someone disputes a decision, they will need to ask DWP to reconsider the decision before they can appeal to HM Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).

Appeals must be sent directly to HMCTS

If someone wants to appeal DWP’s decision following a mandatory reconsideration, their appeal must be made directly to HMTCS.

Time limits for DWP to return responses to HMCTS

DWP has agreed to provide an appeal response within 28 calendar days in benefits cases and within 42 calendar days in child maintenance cases.

Further information is available on the Ministry of Justice Tribunals statistics page.

Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy

Since April 2013 there have been new rules in Housing Benefit for working-age people living in social housing, referred to as the removal of the spare room subsidy. Where claimants are deemed to have too many bedrooms, according to their need, as defined by the social sector size criteria, then they receive a weekly reduction in their Housing Benefit. This applies to all working age social rented sector Housing Benefit claimants who are not subject to an exemption.

The data on this is available through Stat-Xplore and has been taken from the Single Housing Benefit Extract (SHBE).

National Insurance number allocations

National Insurance number allocations to adult overseas nationals entering the UK, are now released quarterly through Stat-Xplore instead of yearly.

Work Programme

From June 2013 releases of Work Programme official statistics have been aligned to financial years, with publications in September, December, March and June, published within 3 months of the reporting period.

The Work Programme official statistics summary contains statistics on:

  • referrals
  • attachments and validated job outcomes
  • sustainment payments

Contacts and more information

There is contact information and more about DWP statistics on the Statistics at DWP page.

Published 11 February 2014