Assessment of DWP’s Benefits Statistics

We are currently assessing the extent to which the Benefits Statistics, produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), meet the professional standards set out in the statutory Code of Practice for Statistics, with a view to re-affirming their National Statistics status.

This assessment will cover the statistics which are included in the quarterly benefits statistics publication. These are:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Benefit Combinations
  • Bereavement Benefit
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • State Pension
  • Widow’s Benefit

This review will not cover the following statistics:

The Code of Practice is a regulatory framework based on the trustworthiness, quality and value of statistics. Capturing the views of users, and potential users, forms an important part of our judgement about the statistics, including their strengths and how they could be improved.

We would very much welcome your feedback about these statistics and would be grateful if feedback could be aligned to the following questions.

  1. Which of the DWP’s Benefits Statistics do you use, and for what purposes? What questions do you need the statistics to be able to answer for you?
  2. To what extent do you think that the statistics maximise value added and provide insight into important issues in society?
  3. How do you think that the statistics could be developed to help them become more valuable? Are there any data gaps which could be solved by improving the statistics?
  4. Are the statistics of sufficient quality for your needs, in particular do you consider them to be accurate enough, relevant and appropriately coherent with other data sources?
  5. Do you have any concerns about the methods used to produce the statistics? How clear is the advice from DWP about the strengths and limitations of the statistics? What further information would you like?
  6. Is the presentation of the statistics (through charts, tables and commentary) helpful to you? How could presentation be improved?
  7. How do you usually access the latest statistics, for example, from DWP’s website, Stat-Xplore, from the media etc? How could access be improved?
  8. How does DWP engage with you as a user? Are there any areas where you would welcome improved engagement?

We welcome comments on any other aspect of these statistics which you think might be relevant to our assessment. Please send any feedback to a member of the assessment team, Elise Baseley or Catherine Bremner. We look forward to receiving your comments by 21st August 2020.