Dear Siobhan,

Universal Credit Work Capability Assessment Statistics

Thank you for your letter of 24th August sharing your view that the lack of Universal Credit (UC) Work Capability Assessment (WCA) statistics leaves a gap in the information available and asks if I could set out how the Department proposes to be clear in its publications about this gap to ensure that users are aware and can understand its impact on use.

For our existing official statistics, the Department’s Statistical Work Programme keeps users informed on changes that are under development. When we have undertaken user engagement consultations on our statistics we have also published information on the user requirements that have been identified but I recognise that this will not capture everything: the proposal for a new series on UC WCA statistics
is an example of this.

To build upon the existing information we publish on statistical developments, I have included a new section within our Statistical Work Programme to cover user requirements that have been proposed for new statistics. Details are provided on the proposal for UC WCA. Once there is confirmation on the resources available to the Department there will be an assessment on our development priorities, and we
will update the Statistical Work Programme accordingly. A link to this will also be included in our related statistics on Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance Work Capability Assessments.

I hope that this addition will provide users with clarity over those developments we are progressing as well as those we are unable to take forward at this time.

I have copied this letter to Peter Schofield, DWP Permanent Secretary.

Yours sincerely,

Steve Ellerd-Elliott,
DWP Chief Statistician and Head of Profession for Statistics