HC Deb 04 December 1995 vol 268 c95W
Mr. Hinchliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many persons were found fit for work following medicals for(a) invalidity benefit and (b) incapacity benefit between (i) 1 April and 30 September and (ii) 1 October and 31 March in each year since 1990; and what studies he is undertaking in order to compare invalidity benefit take-up and benefit suspension with incapacity benefit. [3272]

Mr. Burt

The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available prior to April 1995 is in the table. Between April and September, 18,898 people have been disallowed under the all work test and 293 people because they are capable of their own occupation. Direct comparisons between incapacity benefit and invalidity benefit are not possible because of the different structure, qualifying conditions and administration of the two benefits.

The figures for incapacity benefit reflects activity during a time when the take-on of cases has been carefully controlled to match capacity as experience of the new procedures grows. It is not representative and it is too early to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of the new procedures.

A number of studies and research projects are planned to establish the effect of the introduction of incapacity benefit.

Period Number of medical opinions given—capable of own occupation Number of medical opinions given—capable of alternative work
April 1992–September 1992 19,504 29,502
October 1992–March 1993 18,217 33,118
April 1993–September 1993 12,511 47,370
October 1993–March 1994 9,904 52,996
April 1994–September 1994 8,499 52,217
October 1994–March 1995 8,365 52,684

  1. 1. Figures for Great Britain prior to 1992 are not available. The figures relate to the number of medical opinions given by the Medical Reference Service that the claimant was capable of work following examination for Sickness Benefit, Invalidity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance and not the number of disallowances. Excluded are references where the National Insurance contribution conditions for Sickness/Invalidity Benefit were not satisfied and benefit was payable because the person's incapacity was the result of an accident at work or a prescribed industrial disease.
  2. 2. The decision whether to disallow benefit following a medical opinion was made by an independent adjudication officer.