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Record numbers found incapable of work and put in support group

In spite of the continued vicious rhetoric from government ministers, the latest DWP statistics show that, in reality, a record percentage of claimants are being found to be eligible for employment and support allowance and a record percentage of those claimants are being placed in the support group. Worryingly, however, almost a third of people who made claims between December 2012 and February 2013 are still waiting for a decision in their case.

On 22nd October the DWP produced its quarterly statistical report on Work Capability Assessment outcomes.
The findings show significant trends, which members may find interesting. The full report can be found here:

Employment and Support Allowance: outcomes of Work Capability Assessments


We’ve broken down the report into 3 areas of summary:

1. Initial assessments of claims started from December 2012 to the end of February 2013.

2. Completed initial assessments of claims assessed in the period from March 2013 to May 2013

3. Repeat outcomes on reassessments from March 2013 to May 2013

 

1. Initial assessments

Initial assessments of claims started from December to February 2013 shows:

• 58% of claimants were entitled to Employment and Support Allowance:

23% were placed in the WRAG, and

35% were placed in the Support Group

• 42% of claimants were assessed as Fit for Work.

Those entitled to ESA rose by 3% since the last quarter; those placed in WRAG fell by 1% and those placed in Support Group rose by 4%.

The good news for claimants is that the percentage assessed as fit for work is apparently at an all-time low and also the numbers placed in the support group are increasing.

Worryingly, 62% claims from December 2012 to February 2013 have either not reached or completed the Work Capability Assessment process:

· 34% were closed before a decision was made and

· 29% per cent were still in progress

DWP commissioned research that found that an important reason why claimants moved off the benefit before they were fully assessed was that their health improved.

2. Completed initial assessments

Completed initial assessments of claims assessed in the period from March 2013 to May 2013 shows:

• 58% of claimants were entitled to Employment and Support Allowance

24% placed in WRAG, and

34% placed in the Support Group

• 42% were assessed as Fit for Work.

Compared to the previous quarter, this shows an increase of 5% entitled to ESA; those placed in WRAG remains the same whilst those placed in Support Group increased by 5%. There is a corresponding decrease of 5% of cases found fit for work.

3. Repeat outcomes (reassessments)

Around 21% of repeat assessments cases were originally migrated from incapacity benefits. The following results were claims assessed in the period from March 2013 to May 2013:

• 83% of claimants were entitled to Employment and Support Allowance.

37% were placed in the WRAG, and

46% were placed in the Support Group

• 17% were assessed as Fit for Work.

Compared to the last quarter, the proportion entitled to Employment and Support Allowance has risen by 3%, those placed in WRAG have decreased by 2% and those in Support Group have increased by 4%. The proportion found fit for work has fallen by 3%.

So, overall it seems that there has been an increase in the numbers of claimants entitled to ESA, an increase in the percentage of people placed in the Support Group, and a decrease in the numbers found fit for work. This can only be good news for those with serious or long term health problems.

Comments  

+3 #2 wobbilybob 2013-10-24 10:42
I was smashed to bits by a drunk driver / hit and run in 1976, I was just left on the sick for 37 years, then with no medical, I was put on WRAG, I had been on a course for 10 weeks. was told the course is for 2 years.I was having a terrible time at a Seetec office, there are no disabled toilet facilities, they were constantly bullying and threatening to sanction my and other sick peoples benefits. I had appealed the decision to WRAG me, but was still put on this course. I received a letter telling me my appeal was unsuccessful and to continue attending the course, or else my benefits would me stopped.... Then out of the mist last week I received a letter telling me my claim had been reviewed and I was now put in the support group! So I did not have to go to the center anymore. Still not had a medical for 25 years, not sent a sick note in for 30 years. In 1982I was told I was to consider myself as 'medically retired' I never heard from them apart from a letter once a year telling me of raises or changes. that is until last December when this terrifying episode started. I wonder will I be left alone again now? Or will they change the rules or move the goal posts again, and will I be put on some more schemes? 30 years ago I was demanding to be retrained, and was told by the resettlement officer to go home keep talking the meds. we will be in touch. 37 years it took for them to 'get in touch, in my opinion they left it to long, I retire in 7 years.
#1 Diane62 2013-10-22 14:47
I'm waiting for my appeal, it cannot come soon enough, as from 8th November I will not be getting anymore ESA, I am so worried, my husband works so I have been told I cannot claim anything, we are struggling big time, don't really know what to do

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