Nick Thomas-Symonds Written Questions

15 Questions to Department for Work and Pensions tabled by Nick Thomas-Symonds


Date Title Questioner
8 Nov 2018, 12:43 p.m. Pensions: Consumer Information Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to consult on proposals for mandatory participation in pensions dashboards by pension providers.

Answer (Guy Opperman)

As set out in the Autumn Budget, The DWP will consult on the detailed design for pensions dashboards, and on how an industry-led approach could harness innovation while protecting consumers. As part of the consultation, due to be published shortly, the DWP will explore how to maximise the participation of pension schemes.

20 Feb 2018, 12:06 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many mandatory PIP reconsiderations resulted in the original decision being upheld in 2016-2017.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The number of Personal Independent Payment (PIP) Mandatory Reconsiderations (MRs) cleared can be found in the official published statistics: “Data tables: Personal Independence Payment: Official Statistics to October 2017”. The relevant data can be found in Table 7b. This data shows the number of mandatory reconsiderations for New Claims and Reassessments broken down by month since PIP was introduced and split by outcome type:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/personal-independence-payment-april-2013-to-october-2017

Latest available data to October 2017.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people were refused personal independence payment in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Appeals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who were refused personal independence payment had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

5 Feb 2018, 5:28 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Tribunals Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people who were refused personal independence payment had that decision changed at Tribunal in 2016-17.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The figures requested are given in the table below.

Initial claims made in 2016-17

Number of people refused PIP

390,200

Of whom:

number of people who had that decision changed at mandatory reconsideration

28,500

number of people who had a decision changed at a tribunal appeal

32,300

Figures are for Great Britain.

Appeal figures are based upon appeals against mandatory reconsideration decisions. Initial decisions cannot be appealed until a claimant has gone through the mandatory reconsideration process.

Some decisions which are changed at mandatory reconsideration, and where the claimant continues to appeal for a higher PIP award, are then changed again at tribunal appeal. Therefore the number of people who had a decision changed at mandatory reconsideration and the number of people who had a decision changed at tribunal appeal cannot be added together.

5 Dec 2017, 12:46 p.m. Employment: Learning Disability Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to where his Department has reallocated funding from the previous Work Programme and Work Choice to increase the employment opportunities of people with learning disability; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Sarah Newton)

The Work and Health Programme, a new contracted provision that will build on lessons learnt from the Work Programme and Work Choice, will start in England and Wales between November 2017 and March 2018. Disabled people, who will be the majority of referrals, can volunteer for the programme at any time.

On Thursday 30 November 2017 we published ‘Improving Lives the Future of Work, Health and Disability’, which sets out details of a lifecourse approach to improving employment opportunities for people with a Learning Disability

In addition:

  • We are introducing 200 Community Partners into Jobcentres - these are external appointments with experience of disability who will engage with disabled people, Jobcentre Plus staff and local employers to strengthen the support we offer disabled people seeking work, including those with learning disabilities.

  • Supported Employment “place and train” will be delivered through the Local Supported Employment initiative. A key element of this is the use of Job Carving, which involves working with an employer to create a job which meets the employer’s needs and can be done by a person with a learning disability.

  • The Supported Work Experience proof of concepts will offer young disabled people, including young people with learning disabilities, the opportunity to take part in short work experience placements.

  • Access to Work has put in place a Hidden Impairment Support Team that aims to give advice and guidance to help employers understand how they can support employees with conditions like a Learning Disability.

  • DWP’s Disability Confident campaign has achieved commitments from over 5000 employers. DWP is requiring all its large contractors to be Disability Confident Leaders within 12 months from Jan 2017 and all main Government departments are now signed up to Disability Confident, ensuring that Government’s contracted services become better employers of people with disabilities, including learning disabilities.
11 Sep 2017, 1:24 p.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department made of public transport provision for former Cwmbran Pension Centre staff whose posts will be relocated to North Cardiff.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

DWP conducted some early analysis based on staff home postcodes and pre-existing rail and bus timetables and timings; this was a preliminary exercise when a number of potential sites were under consideration. However, whilst the Department has identified a potential location north of Cardiff for a new strategic hub, it is not yet confirmed. It is therefore too early to determine which existing offices will move to a hub location in the future, or to make further assessment of public transport provision. The site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years.

11 Sep 2017, 12:14 p.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the closure of Cwmbran Pension Centre on local communities.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The Cwmbran Pension Centre site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years, and as such no decision has yet been made on the closure of the site. As a large employer, DWP understands the potential impact that a closure or relocation of an office may have. Generally though the economic impact of employment is dispersed beyond the specific location of a workplace – because people spend most of their money where they live. I would also add that as our estate is made up of leased buildings, the landlords may offer premises to new tenants once DWP vacate.

11 Sep 2017, 11:54 a.m. Pension Service: Cwmbran Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what consultation was undertaken with staff at Cwmbran Pension Centre before the decision to relocate those staff to North Cardiff.

Answer (Damian Hinds)

The Cwmbran Pension Centre site is to be retained as part of the DWP estate for the next 3-5 years, and as such no decision has yet been made on the closure of the site or relocation of staff. However it is worth reiterating that in the future and should the decision be made to relocate jobs, there will be a period of staff consultation where they will be invited to discuss their individual circumstances.

5 Sep 2017, 11:27 a.m. Personal Independence Payment: Parkinson's Disease Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with Parkinson's disease have received personal independence payment at the (a) disability living standard, (b) daily living enhanced, (c) mobility standard and (d) mobility enhanced rate since 2013.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The table below shows the Mobility and Daily Living award status of the 6,640 Personal Independence Payment awards made between April 2013 and April 2017 where the main disabling condition recorded was Parkinson’s disease.

Claimants can be eligible to receive one of or both Daily Living and Mobility components of Personal Independence Payment.

PIP Daily living and Mobility component awards made between April 2013 and April 2017 with main disabling condition recorded as Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease

Number of awards

Daily Living Award Status

a) Awarded Standard Daily Living component

2,030

b) Awarded Enhanced Daily Living component

4,530

Mobility Award Status

c) Awarded Standard Mobility component

1,650

d) Awarded Enhanced Mobility component

3,290

5 Sep 2017, 11:21 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance: Parkinson's Disease Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with Parkinson's disease have been placed in the (a) support group and (b) work-related activity group with a prognosis statement of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) 12 months, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years and (vi) more than two years since the introduction of employment and support allowance in 2008.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The information requested is shown in the table below.

Individuals with a main disabling condition of Parkinson’s disease placed in the Support Group (SG) or Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), by prognosis and assessment type, October 2008 to December 2016

Prognosis

Total

3 Months

6 Months

12 Months

18 Months

2 Years

In the longer term

Initial assessments

SG

2,000

-

-

200

100

300

1,300

WRAG

700

100

100

200

100

100

200

Repeat assessments

SG

1,200

-

-

100

100

200

1,000

WRAG

400

-

-

100

100

100

200

IB reassessments

SG

1,300

-

-

-

-

200

1,000

WRAG

300

-

-

-

-

100

100

Source: Application data is derived from administrative data held by the DWP and assessment data provided by the Healthcare Provider.

Notes:

  1. The figures are rounded to the nearest 100. ‘–‘denotes figures that are zero or less than 50. The total includes those with a prognosis of terminally ill and also where the prognosis is unknown.
  2. The information is provided for Work Capability Assessment decisions made from October 2008, for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and from March 2011, for Incapacity Benefit reassessments (IBR), to December 2016; the latest data available at time of request.
  3. The outcome recorded is the final DWP Decision Maker’s decision or the recommendation made by the Healthcare Professional where the Decision Maker’s decision is not yet available.
  4. An individual may have made more than one ESA claim and had more than one assessment in the time period shown. These individuals will only be counted once in each of the figures provided.
  5. The primary medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of Parkinson’s Disease would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities assessed by the work capability assessment.
5 Sep 2017, 11:13 a.m. Employment and Support Allowance Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employment and support allowance claimants with (a) cystic fibrosis, (b) rheumatoid arthritis, (c) motor neurone disease, (d) multiple sclerosis and (e) Parkinson's disease have been (i) placed in the support group, (ii) placed in the work-related activity group and (iii) found fit for work since 2008.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The available information is shown in the following table:

Individuals placed in the Support Group (SG), Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) or found Fit for Work (FFW), by assessment type and main disabling condition October 2008 to December 2016

Initial assessments

Cystic Fibrosis

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Parkinson's Disease

Multiple Sclerosis

Rheumatoid Arthritis

SG

1,000

1,400

2,000

9,000

4,200

WRAG

100

100

700

2,700

3,600

FFW

100

-

700

2,100

4,900

Repeat assessments

SG

500

300

1,200

8,800

5,200

WRAG

100

-

400

1,700

2,900

FFW

-

-

100

500

1,500

IBR assessments

SG

600

200

1,300

16,100

6,500

WRAG

100

-

300

2,600

5,000

FFW

-

-

-

300

1,200


Source: Application data is derived from administrative data held by the DWP and assessment data provided by the Healthcare Provider.

Notes:

  1. The figures are rounded to the nearest 100. ‘–‘denotes figures that are zero or less than 50.
  2. The information is provided for Work Capability Assessment decisions made from October 2008, for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and from March 2011, for Incapacity Benefit reassessments (IBR), to December 2016; the latest data available at time of request.
  3. The outcome recorded is the final DWP Decision Maker’s decision or the recommendation made by the Healthcare Professional where the Decision Maker’s decision is not yet available.
  4. An individual may have made more than one ESA claim and had more than one assessment in the time period shown. These individuals will only be counted once in each of the figures provided.
  5. The Department uses the International Classification of Diseases Disease code, 10th Revision (ICD(10)) published by the World Health Organisation, for causes of incapacity. http://apps.who.int/classifications/icd10/browse/2016/en - Motor Neurone Disease is recorded under the Spinal Muscular Atrophy and related syndromes category.
  6. The primary medical condition recorded on the claim form does not itself confer entitlement to ESA. So, for example, a decision on entitlement for a customer claiming ESA on the basis of Cystic Fibrosis would be based on their ability to carry out the range of activities assessed by the work capability assessment.
5 Sep 2017, 10:50 a.m. Children: Poverty Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of children were living in poverty in Torfaen in each year for which data is available.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

National statistics on the number of children in relative low income are set out in the annual "Households Below Average Income" publication. The number and proportion of children in relative low income is not available at local authority or constituency level in this publication because the survey sample sizes are too small to support the production of robust estimates at this geography.

Latest 3-year estimates for Wales of the proportion and number of children in low income are available in Table 4.16ts and Table 4.17ts in the file “4_children_timeseries_risk” from this link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/599136/hbai-2015-2016-supporting-ods-files.zip

25 Jul 2017, 1:34 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people in Torfaen constituency had personal independence payments overturned as a result of (a) mandatory reconsideration and (b) an appeal hearing in each of the last five years for which data is available.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The latest available data on personal independence payment (PIP) clearances split by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn) can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/.

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html

Table 1 below shows the number of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Mandatory Reconsideration decisions where the award was changed by year since the introduction of PIP in the Parliamentary Constituencies of Torfaen, Delyn and Jarrow.

Table 1 - Number of Mandatory Reconsiderations decisions where the award changed by financial year of decision.

Year of Mandatory Reconsideration

2013/14

2014/ 15

2015/ 16

2016/ 17

2017/18 (April 17 only)

Total

Torfaen

Less than 5

80

70

110

20

280

Delyn

Less than 5

30

30

60

10

130

Jarrow

Less than 5

20

40

80

10

150

Tables 2-4 below show the Number of appeals found in favour of appellant by financial year, data from Ministry of Justice.

Table 2

Jarrow1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

0

0%

2014-153

PIP4

15

58%5

2015-163

PIP4

76

49%

2016-173

PIP4

123

51%

Table 3

Torfaen constituency1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

Less than 5

Less than 5

2014-153

PIP4

80

69%

2015-163

PIP4

488

74%

2016-173

PIP4

516

70%

Table 4

Delyn constituency1

Number Found in Favour of Appellant

Percentage Found in Favour of Appellant (at hearing)2

2013-143

PIP4

0

0%

2014-153

PIP4

22

42%

2015-163

PIP4

194

52%

2016-173

PIP4

479

67%

1 Social Security and Child Support data are attributed to the hearing venue nearest to the appellants’ home address. For appellants living in Jarrow appeals are attributed to the South Shields venue. For appellants identified as living in Torfaen Constituency this would be Langstone Tribunal venue. For appellants identified as living in Delyn Constituency this would be this would be either Prestatyn or Wrexham Tribunal Venues.

2. Percentage Found in favour of Appellant this is based on the number found in favour as a percentage of the appeals cleared at hearing. In line with the published stats, data are not available at a level more-detailed than hearing venue.

3 By financial year - from April to March.

4 PIP replaced Disability Living Allowance for people aged 16 to 64 and rolled out from 8 April 2013. As such, appeal volumes in HM Courts & Tribunals Service in the Year 2013-2014 are low.

5 Indicates the population where the decision was in favour with 30 appeals or less

20 Jul 2017, 12:49 p.m. Personal Independence Payment: Torfaen Nick Thomas-Symonds

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of constituents in Torfaen constituency who were categorised as lifelong recipients of disability living allowance were subsequently judged as ineligible for personal independence payments in each year for which data is available.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.