The latest employment and support allowance statistics (ESA) released last week show that one third of claimants have still not had a decision on their claim after 8-11 months. Another 40% have recovered or died before they even had an assessment.
The DWP’s quarterly bulletin for the work capability assessment states that for claims made between July and September 2014:
29% of claimants have had a decision.
39% closed their claims before a face-to-face assessment had taken place.
32% of claims were still undergoing assessment.
The figures all relate to claims originally made when Atos was still carrying out WCAs. In March of this year the contract was taken over by Maximus and ministers will be hoping that statistics like these will soon be a thing of the past.
However, they may also be hoping that the increasingly high success rate for ESA claims will also be a thing of the past.
The latest figures show that of those assessed, 77% got an award of ESA, with just 14% being placed in the work-related activity group and 64% being placed in the support group.
After ESA was first introduced in 2008, the proportion of new claimants being placed in the support group remained at around 10-12%. It was only after the Coalition took office in 2010 that the percentage being placed in the support group began its steady climb to its current height.