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New claims for ESA

The latest figures on new claims for Employment and Support Allowance, which replaced incapacity benefit in 2008, have been released.

Here are some of the main findings:

Outcomes of completed initial assessments for claims started from March to May 2011 show:

  •  48 per cent of claimants have an outcome i.e. decisions have been made on

their claims;

  • 38 per cent of claimants had their claim closed before having a face to face

assessment; and

  • 14 per cent of claimants were still undergoing assessment.

Claimants with an outcome for their claim can be broken down as follows:

 

  • 43 per cent of claimants were entitled to the benefit. Within this –
  • 21 per cent of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group

(WRAG), and

  • 22 per cent of claimants were placed in the Support Group (SG); and 57 per cent of claimants were assessed as Fit for Work (FFW) and are no longer eligible for ESA.

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Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Work and Pensions Committee

Select Committee Announcement

10 November 2011
For Immediate Release:
AN55 2010–12

FORTHCOMING PUBLICATION:

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THE COMMITTEE’S REPORT ON INCAPACITY BENEFIT REASSESSMENT

The Work and Pensions Committee will publish the Government response to its Sixth Report of Session 2010-12, The role of incapacity benefit reassessment in helping claimants into employment (HC 1641), on Friday 11 November at 11.00 am.

Further information

Committee membership: Dame Anne Begg MP (Chair) (Lab, Aberdeen South), Mrs Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham East and Saddleworth), Harriett Baldwin MP (Con, West Worcestershire), Andrew Bingham MP (Con, High Peak), Karen Bradley MP (Con, Staffordshire Moorlands), Sheila Gilmore (Lab, Edinburgh East), Mr Oliver Heald MP (Con, North East Hertfordshire), Glenda Jackson MP (Lab, Hampstead and Highgate), Brandon Lewis MP, (Con, Great Yarmouth), Stephen Lloyd MP (Lib Dem, Eastbourne), Teresa Pearce MP (Lab, Erith and Thamesmead).

Specific Committee Information: workpencom@parliament.uk 020 7219 2839
Media Information: bridgespalmerj@parliament.uk 020 7219 0724
Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/workpencom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: http://www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material:
Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on http://www.parliament.uk

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Wednesday’s Guardian ran an interesting piece on Atos and their administration of  the Work Capability assessment…

Is Atos being treated unfairly I wonder…..?

Read the very very long article….. HERE

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PATHWAYS  REVISITED

HEADLINE COST

  • To March 2009 Pathways cost DWP £538 million
  • In 2008-09 (year 1 of the national Pathways programme), Pathways cost £247 million, of which £130 million related to provision in Provider-led Pathways areas.
  • In 2008-09, there were 650,000 new claims for incapacity benefits leading to 501,000 (77% of new claims) individual ‘starts’ to the Pathways programme from people required to participate.
  • There were a further 77,000 individual ‘starts’ to the programme from longer term incapacity benefits claimants who had volunteered to participate, of whom around 90% have been engaged by contractors in Provider-led Pathways areas.

JOB COSTS

  • 15% of claimants starting Pathways to the end of March 2009 had moved into employment, at a cost of £2,942 per job
  • Pathways as a whole, including New Deal for Disabled People in Jobcentre Plus Pathways areas cost £451 per programme start,
  • Compare this with £3,530 per job for the former New Deal 25 plus scheme for the long-term unemployed,

Jobs achieved through mandatory participation in Pathways would have been achieved without the programme,

Jobcentre Plus Pathways has performed better than Provider-led Pathways in supporting mandatory claimants into employment,

Support offered through Pathways (including the Condition Management Programme and the Return-to-Work Credit) appear to have no additional employment impact… That’s £94 million spent with no discernible impact WOW!

PERFORMANCE
Even taking account of the impact of the recession, contractors have underperformed against targets set out in contracts. Provider-led Pathways has NOT demonstrated better performance than Jobcentre Plus.

Consequently,
Contractors have not received payment in line with what they expected,

The Department removed earlier restrictions on allowing contractors to claim performance payments for people who volunteer to participate in Pathways. Contractors can now claim payments for helping an unlimited number of voluntary participants.

TOO BIG TO FAIL

Due to contractor underperformance and cash-flow difficulties, DWP invited contractors to submit individual applications for a proportion of the contract service fee to be paid early. During 2008-09 £24 million of service fees were paid in this way.

  • Risk that contractors will pull out of their contracts because they cannot make them pay. Over half said they would not bid for a new Pathways contract under the same terms
  • Despite being conceptually sound The Office of Government Commerce concluded that the contracted out model of welfare-to-work was still unproven.

With one third of prime contractors and two thirds of subcontractors expecting to make a financial loss. The contracting model the Department has chosen does not appear to be sustainable”

UNREALISTIC BENCHMARKS
In procuring Provider-led Pathways, the Department set ambitious benchmarks. The tenders subsequently submitted by contractors and agreed with the Department were significantly in excess of these benchmarks and [obviously were] not realistic.

…………….

CONCLUSION

THE SPEND IS £3,362…… COMPARE THIS WITH THE COST OF NEW DEAL!!!!

DEDUCT THE 10% MANAGEMENT (£363) …..THE REAL COST IS £3,000.

Over promising, overspending, under performance: lessons will/must be learned

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Companies admit that they reject applications from former IB claimants or people with a history of long-term incapacity or illness. it is interesting that The Times is quoting this now given that the original research was undertaken in 2006.

A CIPD survey of more than 1000 employers found that almost 1 in 5 (18%) did not consider job applications from people on IB for reasons of mental ill health. 1 in 10 employers did not consider applications from people on IB for reasons of physical ill health. CIPD found that for all IB claimants, effective exclusion from the recruitment process was relatively high in the private sector and amongst small and medium sized employers.”

…the measures designed to improve work incentives and provide support for claimants who have the potential to work will need to overcome concern on the part of a significant number of employers about the potential employability of people with a track record of poor health, says CIPD’s Chief Economist John Philpott.

CIPD report

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