More and more claimants who should be in the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) are being forced to remain in the assessment phase of ESA for a year or more, because of the growing crisis in the service provided by Atos.
Fewer than one in five claimants who made a new ESA claim between October and December 2013 have had a decision made on their claim, the latest DWP quarterly statistics reveal. Just 19% have had a decision, compared to 22% in the preceding quarter, suggesting that the situation in regard to Atos assessments is continuing to deteriorate.
The latest statistics for new claims show that:
19% of claimants have had a decision made, down from 22% last quarter.
41% of claimants got better, died or closed their claim for some other reason before they were assessed, up from 40% last quarter.
40% of claimants were still undergoing assessment, unchanged from last quarter.
Of those claimants who had a decision:
73% of claimants were entitled to ESA, the same as last quarter, with 58% going into the support group and 15% into the work-related activity group.
27% were found fit for work, the same as last quarter.
You can download the full statistics here.