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Universal Credit WCA Success Rates – The Secret Is Finally Out

October 24, 2022

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

 

For years the DWP has been refusing to publish statistics on how many universal credit (UC) claimants are found fit for work and how many have limited capability for work (LCW) or limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA). 

However, the secret is finally out following a parliamentary question which actually got a response.

In January 2022 there were 51,600 UC decisions and 6,985 ESA decisions:

62% had LCWRA for UC and 66% for ESA

20% had LCW for UC and 14% for ESA.

18% were FFW for UC and 20% for ESA.

In February 2022 there were 55,600 UC decisions and 7,008 ESA decisions:

61% had LCWRA for UC and 65% for ESA

17% had LCW for UC and 14% for ESA.

22% were FFW for UC and 21% for ESA.

In March 2022 there were 66,200 UC decisions and 7,745 ESA decisions:

59% had LCWRA for UC and 66% for ESA

17% had LCW for UC and 13% for ESA.

24% were FFW for UC and 21% for ESA.

So, the percentage of claimants found fit for work over the three month period was very similar, with 21.3% of UC claimants found fit and 20.6% of ESA claimants.  

The percentage of claimants placed in the limited capability for work category was 18% for UC and 13.6% for ESA.  These claimants have some work-related conditions attached to receiving benefit.

But over the whole quarter, on average only 60.6% of UC claimants were placed in the limited capability for work-related activity as opposed to 65.6% of ESA claimants.  Claimants in this group are eligible for a higher rate of benefits without any work conditionality attached

If UC LCWRA rates had been the same as ESA rates then over 8,500 additional claimants would have been found to have LCWRA over this quarter.

In the course of a year that’s over 34,000 claimants who are missing out on being found to have LCWRA.

Of equal concern is the fact that 1.2 million ESA claimants are waiting to be forcibly transferred from ESA to UC.  There will be no WCA imposed at the point at which claimants are transferred, but they are likely to face a further assessment at some point in the future.

And whilst the WCA for both benefits is virtually identical, it seems clear that there is a difference in the way the tests are applied. 

You can read the full written answer on the parliament website.

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