§ Mr. Willetts
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many claimants of(a) incapacity benefit and (b) severe disablement allowance who moved into work in 2001–02 registered for the 52 week linking rule; and how many of them reclaimed benefit under the terms of the rule in the following 52 weeks; 757W
(2) what assessment he has made of the incentive effect of the 52 week linking rule for incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants. 
§ Mr. Browne
We are ensuring that the benefit system encourages and promotes work where possible. In 1998 we extended linking rules to cover 52 weeks (2 years for people receiving disabled persons tax credit/working tax credit). During the consultation on the Green Paper 'Pathways to Work' (CM 5690) we received a number of comments on the operation of these rules. Some respondents felt that this provision was difficult to access and in light of these comments, we will ease the notification process to allow people to notify the department over the phone when they start work. The information is in the table.
People with incapacity benefit (IB) and severe disablement
allowance (SDA) claims ending in the period shown with the
reason given as a return to work, and those who subsequently
reclaimed benefit within 52 weeks
People with IB/SDA claims ending between 1 March 2001 and 28 February 2002, with the reason given as a return to work People subsequently reclaiming IB/ SDA within 52 weeks Incapacity benefit 25,300 2,400 Severe disablement allowance 800 1100 1 Numbers are based on a very few sample cases; they are therefore subject to a high degree of sampling error and should be used as a guide to the current situation only.
Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
5 per cent. samples of the incapacity benefit computer system, which exclude a small number of cases held clerically.
§ Chris Ruane
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will list the 100 wards in the UK with the highest number of people on Incapacity Benefit.