The latest figures show that 55 per cent of new claimants who go through the Work Capability Assessment are found fit for some form of work.
The official statistics published today also show that, for the latest period 20 per cent could be capable of doing some work with the right help and support and a further 26 per cent of people will go directly into the Support Group, receiving unconditional financial support.
The latest figures also show an increase in the proportion of initial decisions upheld following appeal from 66 per cent in December 2010 to February 2011 to 69 per cent in March to May 2011.
Earlier this month the Department started asking tribunal judges to record a reason if they overturn a decision on appeal. The Department will use this information to ensure they understand why decisions are being overturned. This will in turn assist the Department in improving standards of decision making.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:
It’s in everybody’s interest that we get the Work Capability Assessment right first time. We have put a huge amount of effort into trying to improve our decision making. I want a much better understanding of why judges often do not agree - and particularly why they believe the people whose appeals they uphold really cannot return to any form of work. It’s obviously better to help people back to work if we possibly can, rather than leaving them stranded on benefits for the rest of their lives.
For new ESA claims
Outcomes of initial assessments for claims started from September to November 2011 show:
- 45 per cent of claimants have an outcome i.e. decisions have been made on their claims;
- 39 per cent of claimants had their claim closed before having a face to face assessment; and
- 16 per cent of claimants were still undergoing assessment.
Claimants with an outcome for their claim can be broken down as follows:
- 45 per cent of claimants were entitled to the benefit. Within this -
- 20 per cent of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group; and
- 26 per cent of claimants were placed in the Support Group; and
- 55 per cent of claimants were assessed as Fit for Work and are no longer eligible for Employment and Support Allowance.
Note to Editors:
Latest official statistics