§ Mrs. Ray Michie
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what was the total number of applicants for(a) long-term and (b) short-term incapacity benefit in the past year; 
- (2) how many people were refused (a) long-term and (b) short-term incapacity benefit in the past year; 
- (3) what was the total number of people in receipt of (a) long-term and (b) short-term incapacity in the past year. 
§ Mr. Burt
The information is not available in the format requested. Such information as is available is in the tables.
Following a claim for incapacity benefit those who have paid sufficient national insurance contributions and who are incapable of work in their previous occupation are awarded the short-term benefit. After 28 weeks, although a further claim is not required, recipients must be incapable of all work to continue to receive benefit. If incapacity continues beyond 52 weeks, the long-term rate of incapacity benefit is automatically awarded without the need for a further claim.106W
Rate of incapacity benefit Claims (October 1995 to September 1996) Disallowances (October 1995 to September 1996) Short term (up to 28 weeks) 1,054,000 1391,000 Short term (from 28 weeks) and Long Term n/a 2112,300
n/a = not available
Rate of incapacity 3Recipients (as at 341 May 1996) Short term (up to 28 weeks) 117,000 Short term (from 28 weeks) 105,000 Long term (from 52 weeks) 1,572,000 1Number of claimants who have not paid sufficient national insurance contributions and those judged to be capable of their previous occupation; 100 per cent. sample of incapacity benefit computer system. 2Claimants failing the all work test; 5 per cent. sample of incapacity benefit computer system. 3The latest date for information is available. 4All figures exclude a small number of cases not held on the system.
§ Mr. Alan Howarth
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what estimate he has made of(a) the numbers gaining and (b) the cost, if claimants of incapacity benefit with part-time earnings retained benefit at a rate reduced pound for pound where earnings exceed the limit. 
§ Mr. Burt
Incapacity benefit is intended to support people incapable of work. A small amount of paid work is permitted but only if such work is directly beneficial to the particular medical condition of the claimant and will help aid their recovery. It would be inappropriate to continue to pay incapacity benefit to those who become able to support themselves in paid employment. Disability working allowance is available to help top up earnings of people moving from incapacity benefit into paid work.