§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the average duration of a claim for(a) unemployment credits where no benefit is in payment and (b) incapacity credits where no benefit is in payment. 
§ Mr. Heald
The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is as follows.
The average duration of claims to unemployment benefit where the claimant was not in receipt of unemployment benefit or income support which were live on 8 February was 460 days (1 year and 3 months)1. Almost all of these claimants will have received national insurance credits.
The average duration of incapacity credits where no incapacity benefits were in payment in 1994–95 was 256 days (8 months)1. It is not known whether income support was in payment for any of the periods involved.
1 Five per cent. sample of unemployed claimants on 8 February 1996.
1 One per cent. sample of all claims to sickness benefit made in Great Britain which terminated during 1994–95.