§ Mr. Bradley
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 14 March,Official Report, column 760, what assumptions underlay the answer to the hon. Member for Exeter (Sir J. Hannam) of 5 March 1991, Official Report, columns, 693–94, concerning the impact of using the functional test for disability working allowance for initial claims where no qualifying benefit is in payment. 
§ Mr. Andrew Mitchell
The written answer to which the hon. Member refers was given before the introduction of disability working allowance and, as stated, the estimates were tentative.
The estimates were based on data from the 1985 Office of Population Censuses and Suveys disability survey, which contains detailed information about individuals' disability and other characteristics. Using these data, it is possible to construct a scale of the severity of individuals' disability. The estimates assume that, in order to qualify for DWA, disabled people had to be above a certain threshold on this disability scale.
The estimates took account of two groups of potential DWA recipients: those currently in work who score above the threshold on the OPCS scale and are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit; and disabled people not currently in work or in receipt of a qualifying benefit who might be
Exempt category In receipt of incapacity benefit and previously in receipt of invalidity benefit prior to 13 April 1995 New incapacity benefit claimants since 13 April 1995 In receipt of severe disablement allowance In receipt of incapacity benefit With income support1 In receipt of servere disablement allowance and income support Credit only2 Receipt of higher rate care component of disability living allowance 14,380 1,580 1,140 4,880 600 Nil Severe condition3 71,040 15,640 8,920 19,300 5,320 Nil Terminally ill 20 100 Nil 80 Nil 140
induced to go back to work. The estimates provided in 1991 also assumed, as did other estimates at the time, that the number induced to go back to work would be substantial in relation to those already in work.
It is not possible to produce revised estimates. The 1985 OPCS disability survey is still the most recent comprehensive survey of disabled peoples' characteristics, but the information about individuals' employment situation, earnings and benefit receipt is out of date and cannot now be used to produce reliable estimates of people who might qualify through a functional test but are not currently in receipt of a qualifying benefit. Any estimate of the size of a behavioural effect is speculative, and depends heavily on the state of the labour market and individuals' personal and other circumstances.