§ Mr. Frank Field
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the numbers who will immediately qualify for the new disablement benefit; and what estimates he has made of new claimants qualifying over each of the next 10 years.
§ Mr. Newton
Current estimates, on the assumption that the benefit is phased in over two years, are that about 230,000 might qualify when severe disablement allowance is first introduced; that about 28,000 might qualify in the following year, from November 1985; and that an average 355W of about 18,000 new claimants might qualify each year thereafter. These numbers will be higher, particularly in the early years, if many who would qualify for NCIP and HNCIP at present but have not claimed them decide to claim the new benefit.