The percentage of people entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is at its highest level with over half of people completing a Work Capability Assessment eligible for the benefit. Just under half were found fit for work and will be given help to find a job which is suitable for them.
The new figures, published today, show that nearly three in ten people completing a Work Capability Assessment between June and August 2012 were awarded unconditional support through ESA. This compares to just one person in every ten completing an assessment three years ago.
The figures also show that since October 2010, 742,000 people on the old incapacity benefits have been reassessed to see if they are eligible for ESA. Over 203,000 people – or nearly three in every ten – have been found to be capable of work and are no longer eligible for sickness benefits. They will now get long term help from Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme to find work.
Employment Minister Mark Hoban said:
The improvements we have made to the Work Capability Assessment since 2010 are making a real difference. By continuing to refine the system to make it fairer and more accurate we can ensure that people who are able to work get the encouragement they need to get a job, while those who are too sick to work get real support.
New ESA claims
Outcomes of completed initial assessments of claims started from June to August 2012 show that:
- 52% of claimants were entitled to ESA (23% were placed in the Work Related Activity Group and 29% in the Support Group)
- 48% of claimants were assessed as fit for work
Outcomes of initial assessments (adjusted to account for outcomes after appeals) for incapacity benefits claimants referred for reassessment between October 2010 and August 2012 show:
- 71% of claimants were entitled to the benefit (41% were placed in the Work Related Activity Group and 30% were placed in the Support Group)
- 29% of claimants were assessed as fit for work and are not entitled to ESA
We publish quarterly statistics for Employment and Support Allowance: Outcomes of Work Capability Assessments, Great Britain.
Between October 2008 and February 2012:
DWP made nearly 1.36 million decisions on new ESA claims following a WCA – around 794,000 people were found fit for work
- 39% of people who were found fit for work have had an appeal against the decision decided
- 63% of those appeals were unsuccessful (that is, the original DWP decision was upheld)
- 37% of those appeals were successful
- to date, the tribunal overturned 15% of all fit for work decisions – often because new evidence is produced at appeal which wasn’t available when the original decision was made
More about outcomes
The Work Programme is designed to help people like those who are found fit for work. It offers longer term support over two years for people who are furthest away from the jobs market and who need the most help to eventually move into work.
People who are placed in the support group for ESA are unable to work due to illness or disability and will get the unconditional financial support they need.
People who are placed in the work-related activity group for ESA are currently too ill to work, but with the right help will be able to move into work in the future
People who are found fit for work are not entitled to ESA and will get help to find a job through Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme
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