The latest work capability assessment (WCA) outcome statistics released last week show an extraordinary rise in the proportion of claimants qualifying for employment and support allowance (ESA) and a truly massive increase in the proportion being placed in the support group since the coalition came to power.{jcomments on}

The most recent statistics cover the period from July to September 2013.

support group statistics

They show that 27% of new ESA claimants were found fit for work.

In the quarter immediately before the coalition came to power, on the other hand, the proportion of claimants being found fit for work was 61%.

So the percentage being found fit for work under IDS has more than halved.

But it’s the increase in the proportion of claimants being put in the support group that has been the most astonishing. When IDs became a minister it stood at 10%.

It is now an extraordinary 57% of new claimants being put straight into the support group.

In other words, you are almost six times as likely to be put into the support group under the coalition as you were under Labour.

Meanwhile, the proportion of new ESA claimants being placed in the work-related activity group has fallen from 29% to 16%.

It’s true that there is such a massive backlog of ESA claims now that these figures may change when all the assessments have been done: there has been a particularly big rise in support group percentages in last three quarters that stats are available for.

But this isn’t just a blip: the proportion going into the support group has risen every single quarter since IDS took over. It had more than trebled by the beginning of 2012.

So, whilst the DWP press office has been crowing this week about an almost 90% reduction in appeal rates, they are keeping very quiet indeed about the growing proportion of ESA claimants who have no reason whatsoever to appeal.

You can download the full set of WCA outcome statistics here.


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