Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
I would be grateful if you could provide the following information.
It should be easily clarified and therefore falls well below your cost limit.
My enquiry is specific and relates to a question which arises out of the statistics you provided under separate Freedom of Information requests which the Department for Work and Pensions responded to in August 2015 in a release entitled “Mortality Statistics: Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance”
My enquiry is related to the information you provided at table 2.4 of your release.
Total number of individuals who flowed off IB/SDA whose date of death was at the same time(3) and of those the number with a WCA decision of “fit for work”, Great Britain:
December 2011 to February 2014 Total number of IB/SDA off-flows with date of death at the same time(3) 30,560 of which: Total with a WCA decision of “fit for work” 270
For the avoidance of doubt, I have full regard to your footnote (3).
In referring to the 270 claimants who 'off – flowed' from IB/SDA because of death with a WCA decision of “fit for work”, can you confirm, in accordance with regulation 13 of the Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit)(Existing Awards) Regulations 2010) that it can be reasonably concluded that the time of the ‘off flow’ (recorded due to death -as per footnote 3) would be a matter of 2 to 6 weeks after the conversion decision confirming the fit for work finding (the conversion decision) prior to the death?
I seek this clarification because it bears a relevance to the timing of the death and the fit for work finding by virtue of regulation 13 which sets the latest payment date (this is referred to as the safe date in the IBR Customer Journey) of IB/SDA after the conversion decision has been made.
I replicate the relevant legislation for your ease of reference:
The effective date of a conversion decision
13.—(1) For the purposes of determining the date on which a conversion decision takes effect in relation to any notified person—
(a)take the date on which the person is notified of the conversion decision; and
(b)unless paragraph (2) applies, determine the first complete fortnightly period in respect of which the person’s existing benefit is payable after that date,
and the effective date of the person’s conversion decision is the first day of the benefit week immediately following the end of the fortnightly period referred to in sub-paragraph (b).
(2) Where existing benefit is payable to the notified person in respect of a period other than a fortnight—
(a)determine the second complete benefit week in respect of which the person’s existing benefit is payable after the date on which the person is notified of the conversion decision; and
(b)the effective date of the person’s conversion decision is the first day of the benefit week immediately following the end of that second complete benefit week.
(3) “Existing benefit”, in relation to a notified person, means the benefit in respect of the person’s existing award or awards.
I seek merely to establish that in the above example as per table 2.4 it is possible to say that the date of off – flow related death occurred fairly shortly after the fit for work finding was made. It is accepted that no causal link can be established due to the short time frame involved but none the less this set of statistics can be treated with more clarity over the timings due to the maximum possible period of time which can elapse for IB/SDA payments to be made after a WCA fit for decision has been made in accordance with the regulations provided and cited above. This sets this set of statistics apart from ESA off flows which are not related to a conversion decision. Please clarify this to be the case.
Many thanks for your assistance in this matter. I look forward to the pleasure of your reply.
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