The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has revised up its estimate of the proportion of employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants who will be placed in the support group.
A brief note in the OBR’s ‘Economic and fiscal outlook’ document, written to accompany the chancellor’s Autumn statement, states:
“We have also revised up spending on incapacity benefits, assuming that 38 per cent of claims will be in the more expensive support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) in steady state (up from 30 per cent in our July forecast).”
There is no explanation for why the numbers have risen so suddenly and are expected to stay remain so high. However, it is known that Maximus are having considerable difficulty recruiting sufficient health professionals, meaning that there is still a huge backlog of work capability reassessments.