HC Deb 24 November 1994 vol 250 cc284-5W
Dr. Howells

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will give the number of current invalidity benefit claimants in Mid Glamorgan at(a) Porth, (b) Tonypandy, (c) Pontypridd and (d) Aberdare;

(2) how many income support claimants are currently receiving disability premium, with a breakdown of their means of qualification, at Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare and Pontypridd in Mid Glamorgan in respect of (a) receipt of invalidity benefit or (b) submission of medical certificates only or (c) receipt of severe disablement allowance or (d) receipt of disability living allowance;

(3) if he will give the number of invalidity benefit/disability premium claimants found fit for all work and fit for light work in the last 12 months in the Porth, Tonypandy, Aberdare and Pontypridd areas.

Mr. Hague

The administration of the Benefits Agency is a matter for Mr. Michael Bichard, the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with such information as is available.

Letter from Michael Bichard to Dr. Kim Howells, dated 23 November 1994: The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked Michael Bichard to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about Invalidity Benefit (IVB) and Income Support (IS) customers in Mid Glamorgan. This was in respect of the total number of IVB customers and also regarding the number of IVB and Disability Premium customers found fit for work and the qualifying reason for IS customers being in receipt of a Disability Premium. Mr Bichard is on annual leave and I have, therefore, been asked to reply on his behalf. I have provided details at Appendix A of the number of IVB customers in the areas you requested. Information is not readily available regarding Disability Premiums being withdrawn following a reference to the Benefits Agency Medical Services (BAMS); to obtain this information would be at disproportionate cost. This is because the Disability Premium is a component of IS payable to customers in prescribed circumstances, including when they have entitlement to IVB. Loss of entitlement to the Disability Premium does not always result in loss of entitlement to IS. No statistics are maintained to record changes in components of IS entitlement. However, that information that is available relating to disallowed IVB claims following reference to the BAMS has been provided at Appendix B. Information is not readily available in the exact format requested because to obtain details of those found capable of suitable alternative work as opposed to capable of work would be at a disproportionate cost. The figure for Aberdare Benefit office in Appendix B relates entirely to that office, whereas that relating to Pontypridd is for the whole Taff Rhonda District comprising of Pontypridd, Porth and Tonypandy. To separate the figure given for Pontypridd into the three offices within the District could only be done at a disproportionate cost. As you requested, I have attached at Appendix C a table giving at 30 August 1994, the date of the last count, the number of IS customers at the offices named who were receiving the Disability Premium. However, with regard to your request for details of a breakdown of customers means of qualification for a Disability Premium, I should explain that the full range of information requested is not routinely collected in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. This is because statistics are not maintained about the qualifying condition which was satisfied and led to the award of a premium. To identify in each case the precise criteria that was satisfied would be at disproportionate cost. However, I have placed at Appendix D information which has been obtained from the Quarterly Statistical Enquiry which was based on a five per cent. sample of IS customers at November 1993. The information is for the Wales administrative region but cannot be broken down to a local level. All figures have been rounded to the nearest 1000. I hope you find this reply helpful.

Number of IVB claimants at 31 October 1994
Porth 6,317
Tonypandy 7,017
Pontypridd 6,265
Aberdare 6,189

Number of IVB awards disallowed following reference to the Benefits Agency Medical Service
Aberdare BO 391
Pontypridd BO 733

Appendix C Number
Porth 1,108
Pontypridd 1,184
Tonypandy 1,141
Aberdare 1,257
Total 4,690


Management Information Statistics—August 1994.

Appendix D Number
In receipt of Invalidity Benefit 5,000
In receipt of Severe Disablement Benefit 4,000
In receipt of Disability Living Allowance Other 25,000
All cases 44,000


Quarterly Statistical Enquiry—November 1993.