Work Capability Assessment

Work Capacity Assessment results

DWP statistical release: Work Capacity Assessments

The latest official statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions reveal there has been an increase in the number of Employment and Support Allowance claimants going into the support group. For ministers, this indicates that the changes the Government made to the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) are making a difference and more people are getting long term unconditional support.

For all new ESA claims from 30th October 2008 to 28th February 2011, the result of the initial Work Capacity Assessment is as follows:

  • Support Group – 7%
  • Work Related Activity Group – 17%
  • Fit for Work – 38%
  • Claim closed before assessment complete – 36%
  • Assessment still in progress – 2%

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

“We are seeing an increase in the number of severely disabled people being given long-term unconditional support, which shows that our reforms to the work capability assessment are starting to work.
“However, it’s clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to return to work. For those that need additional help our new Work programme is up and running and will tailor support to people’s needs so that they can overcome whatever barriers they face.”

Changes have been made to the Work Capability Assessment include simplifying the language of the criteria, making greater provision for people awaiting courses of chemotherapy and people with certain communication and mental health problems, as well as taking greater account of how an individual has adapted to their condition or disability.

Read the statistical release summary

Read the full statistical release

Click here for the tables


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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