§ Mr. Gorrie
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people received invalidity benefit in the last year it operated; and how many people received incapacity benefit in each of the years since it was introduced. 
§ Mr. Bayley
Incapacity Benefit replaced Sickness Benefit and Invalidity Benefit on 13 April 1995. The short-term higher and long-term rates of Incapacity Benefit are equivalent to Invalidity Benefit. The available information is set out in the table.
Number of recipients of Invalidity Benefit/short-term higher and long-term Incapacity Benefit at the end of the statistical year Year Number 1994–95 1,766,900 1995–96 1,692,400 1996–97 1,632,060 1997–98 1,561,740
The 1994–95 statistical year ended 12 April 1995. From 1995–96 onwards the end of the statistical year is the last day in February.
DSS—Invalidity Benefit—1 per cent. sample of all claimants
DSS—Incapacity Benefit—5 per cent. computer sample, excludes a small number of cases not on the system