DWP death stats made clear [As far as is possible]

DWP death stats made clear; As far as is possible by Nick Dilworth
At long last, we can get some real clarity over the DWP’s worse than useless death statistics:

(1)  The predominant DWP death figures, be it for those on Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance, only refer to those who came off either benefit because they died.

(2)  Any reference to 2 weeks (ESA cases) or 6 weeks (IB/SDA cases) only relates to aligning the claimant’s date of death to the date of the end of their claim.  The only reason for the end of the claim is because of the claimant’s death.

(3)  The DWP have never provided any indication over the date of a fit for work finding, or any other Work Capability Assessment finding which can be related to the date of death of any claimant on either incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance.

All the DWP has done is provided a blanket statement that between 1 May 2010 and 28 February 2013, 40,680 claimants died within a year of a work capability assessment decision.

(4)   Readers are quite entitled to say that the total number of Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance claimant who have ended their claim because of death with a fit for work finding being recorded on their claim (at an unspecified time) is 4,010 between December 2011 and February 2014.

(5)    If the DWP are now saying the total number of Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance claimants who have ended their claim because of death with a fit for work finding being recorded on their claim (at an unspecified time) is 2,650 (rather than 4,010) between December 2011 and February 2014 they need to amend their statistics to the following effect:

“The data in table 2.3 relating to 2,380 ESA claimants includes 1,340 ESA claimants shown in table 2.5 with a completed appeal.   The data in table 2.4 relating to 270 Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants includes 20 Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants shown in table 2.6 with a completed appeal.

Tables 2.3/2.4/2.5 and 2.6 are all subsets with sub totals being drawn out of tables 2.2 and 2.1

For the avoidance of doubt the correct number is 2,650″

(6) The 1,340 Employment & Support Allowance claimants with a completed appeal can only be those whohad successfully appealed a fit for work decision and thus stayed on Employment & Support Allowance up to the time of their death.  Had they been found fit for work at their appeal, they would have come off Employment & Support Allowance at the time because of that reason.  There may be some claimants who posthumously appealed and subsequently won their appeals or who died at around the same time of their completed appeal.

(7) The 20 Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants with a completed appeal can only be thosewho had successfully appealed a fit for work decision and thus were transferred on to Employment & Support Allowance up to the time of their death. Had they been found fit for work at their appeal, they would have come off Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance at the time because of that reason and not subsequently flowed off Employment & Support Allowance. There may be some claimants who posthumously appealed and subsequently won their appeals or who died at around the same time of their completed appeal.

This is why the DWP refer to the claimant off flowing from Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance and also off flowing from Employment & Support Allowance within the same table.

(8)  The 2,380 Employment & Support Allowance claimants who came off Employment & Support Allowance because of their deaths between December 2011 and February 2014 can only be claimants who were either (a) appealing a fit for work decision or (b) who had a “status of Fit for Work with no completed appeals information” available to the DWP.   Had they been found fit for work prior to their death and not requested a reconsideration or appealed, it stands to reason that they could not be claiming Employment & Support Allowance up to the time of their death.

(9)  The 270 Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance claimants who came off Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance because of their deaths between December 2011 and February 2014 can only be claimants who were either (a) appealing a fit for work decision or (b) who had a “status of Fit for Work with no completed appeals information” available to the DWP.

Until such times as a claimant in this cohort is provided with a Work Capability Assessment decision, they remain on Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance.  If found fit for work and they appeal, their claim would become an Employment & Support Allowance claim up until the appeal or reconsideration is decided.  In all cases the claimant off flows from Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance because that is the purpose of the conversion process.

(10) The DWP statistics do not provide any data over Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance claimants who subsequently died but who had previously been found fit for work and who ended their claim as a direct result of that decision.  Thus claimants who stopped claiming Incapacity Benefit/Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment & Support Allowance and did not subsequently reclaim any benefits or who claimed other benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance, State Retirement Pension, Pension Credit, Income Support as a carer or any other benefit will not be included.

This is subject to some element of potential inclusion within the 40,680 figure given to claimants who died within a year of a Work Capability Assessment and the more generalised mortality statistics.  It should be noted however, that all claimants who were repeatedly assessed will only have one the data related to their earlier assessment included.

 

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