Press release

Latest ESA assessment figures show majority fit to work

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The latest figures show that 54 per cent of people who go through the Work Capability Assessment are found fit for some form of work.

The latest figures show that 54 per cent of people 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 19 per cent can do some work with the right help and support and a further 27 per cent of people will go directly into the Support Group, receiving unconditional financial support.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

Our reforms are built around the simple premise; we want to look at your potential to work not just your limitations. For too long people were left with no support sitting at home on benefits. It is clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to do some work.

For those who need additional support getting into work, the Work Programme provides tailored support to help overcome whatever barriers they may face.

There are still 2.60 million people claiming sickness benefits, almost 900,000 of which have been on Incapacity Benefit for over a decade.

For new ESA claims

Outcomes of initial assessments for claims started from June to August 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:

  • 46 per cent of claimants were entitled to the benefit.  Within this -
  • 19 per cent of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group; and
  • 27 per cent of claimants were placed in the Support Group; and
  • 54 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

Official statistics on new claims for Employment and Support Allowance are available at: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/index.php?page=esa_wca

The reduction in the Incapacity Benefit caseload is a result of the reassessment process which sees people on Incapacity Benefit assessed using the Work Capability Assessment to determine eligibility to Employment and Support Allowance. In March the Department released statistics for the first cohort of reassessments.