The length of claims

Results from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study are now available; the full spreadsheet is in a table. This shows the length of time of claims of different benefits for people of working age. The key figures are:

All claimants 1 year or less 10 years or more
All 4,744,510 1,770,930 1,019,620
JSA 1,328,910 1,111,110 1,050
ESA and incapacity benefits 2,586,420 421,790 922,930
Lone Parents 648,300 171,370 65,910
Carer 110,490 26,500 23,130
Others on income related benefit 70,390 40,150 6,600

Most claimants claim for less than two years. About a fifth of working age claimants are there for the very long term and about 90% of them are on incapacity benefits, which includes long term chronic disability. There is very little evidence of longer-term dependency if that group is excluded – there are very few long term claimants who are not incapacitated. There is no support in these figures, then, for the idea that people are being trapped in long term dependency by lack of incentives.

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