Social Security Benefits: Long Covid

(asked on 10th February 2022) - View Source

Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate her Department has made of the number of people claiming disability benefits or universal credit who are experiencing long covid; and what plans her Department has to undertake future monitoring of the number of people receiving support from her Department who are experiencing long covid.

Answered by
Chloe Smith Portrait
Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
This question was answered on 21st February 2022

The Department publishes monthly Official Statistics on the number of people entitled to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) by main disabling condition. The Department also publishes quarterly National Statistics on the number of people entitled to, and in payment of, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Attendance Allowance (AA) by main disabling condition. Statistics are available to October 2021 for PIP, and August 2021 for DLA and AA on Stat-Xplore. Guidance for users is available here.

From March 2021 PIP, DLA and AA cases were able to have the disability or main disabling condition classified as "Coronavirus covid-19". These cases are long covid / post-covid syndrome cases, rather than initial covid-19 infection. Any individuals with long covid as their primary reason for claiming PIP, DLA or AA prior to March 2021 will not be classified as "Coronavirus covid-19". These cases will remain classified according to the disability recorded that links with the claimant’s functional needs.

For PIP statistics, the PIP Cases with Entitlement dataset allows you to view the number of PIP cases with entitlement split by disability. Coronavirus-19 can be selected by expanding ‘Infectious disease’ then ‘Viral diseases’. For DLA and AA, the respective DLA and AA: Cases with Entitlement – Data from May 2018 datasets have a category within the disability filter called ‘Infectious diseases: Viral disease - Coronavirus covid-19.’

Please note that data is based on primary disabling condition. This is as recorded on the administrative systems for PIP, DLA and AA. Claimants may often have multiple disabling conditions upon which the decision is based but only the primary condition is available for statistical purposes and shown in these statistics.

The information requested for Universal Credit is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost. There are currently no plans to provide such a breakdown.

Other people receiving support with long covid may include those receiving Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), however information is currently only available for high level medical conditions on Stat-Xplore and analysts are investigating if lower level conditions, including "Coronavirus covid-19", can be recorded and reported in the future.

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