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|Parliamentary Under SecretaryHouse of Lords|
|Date of Meeting||Outside Interest Group||Reason for meeting|
Sane, Rethink, Disability Alliance, Royal National Institute of the Blind, National Autistic Society, Leonard Cheshire, MacMillan Cancer, Judy Scott Consultancy, Mencap, Arthritis care, Disability Matters, Medical Scientist, Mencap, Mind
Child Poverty Action Group, Royal National Institute of the Blind, Royal National Institute for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Trade Unions Congress, Disability Alliance, Coalition against the Welfare Reform Bill, RADAR
|Parliamentary Under SecretaryHouse of Commons|
|Date of meeting||Outside interest group||Reason for meeting|
|Parliamentary Under Secretary (Disabled People) - House of Commons|
|Date of meeting||Outside interest group||Reason for meeting|
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people in his Department who participated in (a) involuntary and (b) voluntary staff exit schemes in each year since 1997-98 were paid between (i) £0 to £25,000, (ii) £25,001 to £50,000, (iii) £50,001 to £75,000, (iv) £75,001 to £100,000 and (v) over £100,000; and if he will make a statement; 
Where insufficient volunteers are forthcoming for a flexible scheme, as a pre-redundancy measure, Departments and agencies may call for volunteers to leave on compulsory terms in order to avoid compulsory redundancy procedures.
The Civil Service Compensation Scheme provides compensation for civil servants retired early. It covers most permanent civil servants, including those who have opted out of all civil service pension arrangements.
Compulsory early retirement for staff age 50 or over who are made redundant;
Compulsory early severance for staff age under 50 who are made redundant;
Flexible early retirement for staff who retire after age 50 because of limited efficiency, limited postability or departmental restructuring; and
Flexible early severance for staff who leave before age 50 because of limited efficiency, limited postability or departmental restructuring
Approved early retirement. This allows Departments with surplus staff to invite volunteers for early retirement from those age 50 (age 55 for new joiners on or after 6 April 2006) and over with five years qualifying service. Staff aged 55 with over 25 years service can also apply.
(a) There have been no involuntary releases.
|(b) Voluntary figures|
|£0 to £25,000||£25,001 to £50,000||£50,001 to £75,000||£75,001 to £100,000||Over £100,000||Annual total|
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of disability living allowance claimants receive benefit after (a) self-assessment, (b) GP referral and (c) independent medical assessment. 
Mrs. McGuire: For new disability living allowance claims for the period April 2006 to March 2007, where benefit was awarded, 10.09 per cent. were awarded on self-assessment, 50.35 per cent. were awarded on GP referral, and 10.50 per cent. were awarded following independent medical assessment.
The totals are less than 100 per cent. as there are other routes to an award of disability living allowance. The information for these other routes are: benefit awarded on additional information, 6.38 per cent.; benefit awarded on non fee paying referral, for example, physiotherapist or hospital consultant, 21.38 percent.; benefit awarded using form IB85, 1.30 per cent.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answers of 19 March 2007, Official Report, column 622W and 27 March 2007, Official Report, column 1488W, on incapacity benefit appeals, what the reasons are for the time taken between the lodging of an appeal with the first tier agency and the referral of the appeal to the Tribunals Service; and what measures he is putting in place to improve performance. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to respond to your question asking what the reasons are for the time taken between the lodging of an Incapacity Benefit appeal with the first tier agency and the referral of the appeal to the Tribunals Service and what measures he is putting in place to improve performance. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
When an appeal is received and before it is submitted to the Tribunal Service, a reconsideration must be carried out. The Decision Maker has to consider all legal issues raised by the claimant or their representative, which may entail obtaining unreported Commissioner's decisions or referral for guidance to the Adjudication and Constitutional Issues Branch. Where additional medical evidence is received in support of the appeal it is sometimes necessary to refer the matter to Medical Services for further medical opinion.
If the decision cannot be revised in the claimant's favour then the Decision Maker prepares an appeal submission; which requires a full explanation of the decision in relation to the legislation and careful consideration of case law.
The reconsideration and appeal submission must be accomplished within a Jobcentre Plus benchmark target of 50 days. This year to date we have averaged around 38 days for Incapacity Benefit appeals.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were on means-tested benefits in each of the last 15 years; what assessment he has made of the merits of means testing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Plaskitt: Income-related benefits are intended to help those people whose resources are insufficient to meet their day-to-day living expenses. By relating a claimants income to their entitlement to these benefits, we can ensure that help is available to those who most need it.
|Income-related benefit recipients: Great Britain, at May each year 1990 to 2004|
1. Income-related benefits are: income support; income-based jobseekers allowance; pension credit; housing benefit; and community charge benefit/council tax benefit.
2. Overlaps between benefits have been removed.
3. Due to the estimation procedure used to remove the overlaps between housing benefit and council tax benefit, figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.
4. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.
5. Income support and jobseekers allowance 5 per cent. figures have been uprated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. totals of WPLS data.
6. Housing benefit data exclude any extended payment cases.
7. Council tax benefit data exclude second adult rebate cases.
8. Jobseekers allowance replaced income support for the unemployed in October 1996.
9. Pension credit replaced minimum income guarantee in October 2003.
Information Directorate, 1 per cent. and 5 per cent. samples; 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study; Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. Sample.
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