ESA statistics released by the DWP today show that only 20% of people who claimed employment and support allowance (ESA) in January to March of this year have had an assessment. The figures also show a continuing rise in the proportion of claimants found incapable of work and the percentage placed in the support group.
The latest quarterly work capability assessment (WCA) statistics show that, of those people who submitted a claim between January and March 2014:
20% have had an assessment
40% are still waiting
41% are no longer claiming, largely because they got better or died.
(The figures are rounded).
Of those who made a claim in this period and who have had a decision:
24% were found fit for work
76% were found to be entitled to ESA, of whom:
14% were placed in the work-related activity group
62% were placed in the support group
The figures represent another big increase in both the percentage of claimants being found eligible for ESA and the percentage being placed in the support group.
It is likely that these totals will alter once all claims, reconsiderations and appeals for the period have been dealt with. But what is not in doubt is that many tens of thousands of claimants who should be in the support group are currently forced to remain in the assessment phase for periods of a year or more.