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Benefit Claimants

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of Welsh claimants of (a) jobseeker's allowance, (b) income support and (c) incapacity benefit returned to work in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [39557]

Margaret Hodge: The information is not available in the format requested.

The Department for Work and Pensions Research Report No. 244—Destination of benefit leavers 2004—showed that nationally, 62 per cent. of claimants leaving income support, incapacity benefit or jobseeker's allowance entered employment of 16 hours or more a week. Copies of the report are available in the Library.

Carers Allowance

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons levels of carers allowance reduce when carers reach pensionable age. [41720]

Mrs. McGuire: The payment of carers allowance is affected by the award of other social security benefits such as state pension, bereavement allowance and incapacity benefit, rather than simply reaching pension age. The reason why a carers allowance is not paid in full together with that other benefit is because they are both paid for income maintenance, and paying both benefits in full would duplicate provision for the same need. In
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practice the personal contributory benefit is paid in full and the carers allowance is adjusted against it. Where carers allowance is overlapped in full, the person maintains an underlying entitlement to the benefit which, in turn, gives them access to the carer premium in the income-related benefits, such as income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit, and to the carers additional amount in pension credit.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have been non-compliant with their Child Support Agency assessment in each quarter since Q1 1996; and if he will make a statement. [28422]

Mr. Plaskitt [holding answer 17 November 2005]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 12 January 2006:

Child Support Agency collection service cases compliance status February 1996 to August 2005

Quarter endingNumber of non compliant cases
February 199666,000
May 199665,000
August 199667,000
November 199670,000
February 199770,000
May 199768,000
August 199770,000
November 199773,000
February 199876,000
May 199881,000
August 199887,000
November 199891,000
February 199997,000
May 199999,000
August 1999101,000
November 1999104,000
February 2000106,000
May 2000104,000
August 2000105,000
November 2000104,000
February 2001104,000
May 2001101,000
August 2001101,000
November 2001101,000
February 200299,000
May 200292,000
August 200290,000
November 200291,000
February 200390,000
May 2003
August 2003
November 2003
February 2004
May 2004121,000
August 2004123,000
November 2004124,000
February 2005126,000
May 2005123,000
August 2005125,000

1.Numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.
2.Robust information covering the period May 2003 to February 2004 is not currently available.
3.Compliance is defined as all those cases which are open and have paid money, either regular maintenance and/or arrears via the collection service over the preceding quarter.
4.The above includes only those old scheme cases with a full maintenance assessment, and those new scheme cases with either a full maintenance calculation, or a default maintenance decision. Old scheme cases with a punitive interim maintenance assessment are excluded from this analysis in line with the agency's target definition.

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Health-related Benefit Claims

Joan Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many health-related benefit claims by the working age population (a) were made in 2004–05 and (b) have been made in 2005–06 in (i) England, (ii)the West Midlands and (iii) Stoke-on-Trent. [37741]

Mrs. McGuire: Information is not available in the format requested. The most recent available information on the number of recipients of health-related benefits is in the table.
Working age recipients of incapacity benefit (IB); severe disablement benefit (SDA); industrial injuries disablement benefit (IIDB); reduced earnings allowance (REA); retirement allowance (RA); income support disability premium (ISDP); or disability living allowance (DLA), by area

West Midlands GOR247,30017,50099,900149,100
Stoke-on-Trent North parliamentary constituency5,8006002,3003,000
Stoke-on-Trent city council area19,5002,0007,40010,500

(24)IIDB and REA/RA figures are at March 2005, all others are at May 2005.
(25)A customer may be in receipt of either industrial injuries disablement benefit or reduced earnings allowance/retirement allowance or both.
1.Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
2.IB/SDA 'Claimant' figures include all IB and SDA (including IB credits only cases).
3.DLA totals show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital.
DWP Information Directorate, Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study100 per cent. data and Industrial Injuries Computer System 100 per cent. count.

Incapacity Benefit

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people receiving incapacity benefit who are no longer incapable of working. [29521]

Mrs. McGuire: Incapacity benefit is paid to those who are unable to work because of sickness or disability. For the benefit to remain in payment once the claimant was no longer incapable of to work would be the result of a fraud or an error.

The level of fraud and error in incapacity benefit was last measured in 2001 at which time it was estimated that the amount of fraud and error combined amounted to less than two percent of the total expenditure.

Industrial Injuries Scheme

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of administering industrial injuries benefit in 2004–05. [40473]

Margaret Hodge: The latest estimate of the cost of administering industrial injury benefits, for the year ending 31 March 2005, is £14 million.

Jobcentre Plus

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the charge per minute is of telephoning the Jobcentre Plus contact centre from (a) a land line and (b) from each mobile phone network; and what the average call duration has been in the last 12 months. [38388]

Margaret Hodge [holding answer 20 December 2005]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. She will write to my hon. Friend.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 12 January 2006:

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