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Mr. McCartney: Since the beginning of the MIG take up campaign in May 2000 and up to the end of August 2001, 240,186 additional claims for the Minimum Income Guarantee have been received and processed. As a result, 118,242 people are receiving an extra £20 a week on
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average. This demonstrates that our policies are successfully providing extra money to those among the elderly who need it most. As at May 2001 there were 1,716,600 people in Great Britain receiving MIG.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost is to date of advertising the Minimum Income Guarantee for pensioners; how many applicants there have been; how many have been approved; and what estimate he has made of the total number of potential applicants. 
Mr. McCartney: Up to September 2001, some 121,159 pensions have received an extra £20 per week on average as a result of the Minimum Income Guarantee take-up campaign. This demonstrates that our policies are successfully providing extra money to those among the elderly who need it most.
The latest available figures on the number of people entitled to the Minimum Income Guarantee who are not claiming pre-date the advertising campaign. These figures are included in the publication "Take-Up of Income Related Benefits: Statistics for 19992000", copies of which are available in the Library.
Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the annual cost of administration of (a) the Minimum Income Guarantee, (b) State Pensions, (c) Child Benefit and (d) the Working Families Tax Credit. 
Mr. McCartney: The Department now estimates and accounts for its expenditure in resource terms and by strategic objective. The cost of administering each of the Department's strategic objectives is reproduced in the 200102 Departmental Report at Table 4.
The Working Families Tax Credit is administered by Inland Revenue. The cost to Inland Revenue of managing and paying tax credits for the six months to 31 March 2000 is shown in Note 3 to the trust account on page 83 of Inland Revenue's annual report for the year ending 31 March 2000, a copy of which is available in the Library.
37. Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the impact of his Department's policies on unemployment levels in (a) Southend, East and (b) Southend, West. 
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The Department for Work and Pensions does not currently collect information about the ethnic breakdown of customers. However, the BA does undertake a significant amount of work to ensure equality of access to benefits for all customers, including guidance for staff working with ethnic minority customers, provision of information in different languages and provision of interpreting services. Also, the DWP ethnic Minority Forum continues to meet at least annually, in order that we can hear and address the concerns of people who work with, and represent, ethnic minority customers.
Malcolm Wicks: The changes we are introducing to Incapacity Benefit are designed to help people with poor health and disability to achieve their own aspirations by helping those who want to work to do so. People making new or repeat claims to Incapacity Benefit in Jobcentre Plus pathfinder offices will therefore be required to attend a work focused interview to ensure they get the right level of support. These interviews will provide disabled people with the opportunity to discuss with their personal adviser the help, benefits and opportunities available to them. We will not force people with disabilities into work. People who are still eligible for Incapacity Benefit will get it and the existing exemptions from medical testing will not be removed.
Malcolm Wicks: Estimates of take-up in Great Britain are published in annual statistics on "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-up", copies of which are in the Library of the House. Estimates are presented for Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based) on a consistent basis for the years 199798, and 199899 and 19992000 and for Family Credit for the years 199798 and 199899. Estimates for the United Kingdom and for Scotland are not available.
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Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many sufferers from fibromyalgia are receiving disability living allowance; how many of these are in receipt of this benefit for fibromyalgia only; and how many receive it for fibromyalgia in addition to other disabling conditions. 
Maria Eagle: Information is not available in the form requested. The most relevant information available is that as of February this year about 170,000 people who were receiving Disability Living Allowance had a disease of the muscles, bones or joints as their main disabling condition. This information is based on a 5 per cent. data sample.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will set out for Q3 and Q4 200001 and Q1 200102 (a) how many people were awaiting an appeal for (i) Disability Living and (ii) Attendance Allowance at the end of each quarter, (b) the average time it took to process the appeal and (c) the average time it took to process the original claim. 
|200001||Attendance Allowance||Disability Living Allowance|
The average clearance times from receipt of the appeal by the Benefits Agency to the Appeals Service issuing the tribunal's decision and the average waiting times from receipt of the appeal by the Benefits Agency to the first hearing by a tribunal for the third and fourth quarters of 200001 are shown in table 2. The figures for the first quarter of 200102 are not available.
|200001||Quarter 3||Quarter 4|
|Disability Living Allowance||27.8||28.5|
|Disability Living Allowance||24.8||24.2|
(2) Clearance times shown apply from the date of lodgement with the Benefits Agency to the Appeals Service issuing the tribunal's decision. Thus delays caused by adjournments are included. The time taken for the Benefits Agency to implement the decision is not included.
(3) Waiting times shown apply from the date of lodgement with the Benefits Agency to the date of the first tribunal hearing.
(c) The average times taken to process Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance claims for the third and fourth quarters of 200001 and the first quarter of 200102 are shown in table 3.
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|Attendance Allowance||Disability Living Allowance|
|200001 Quarter 3||26.4||44.8|
|200102 Quarter 1||26.0||42.2|
It is not possible to track individual claims through subsequent stages. The figures above therefore give the average actual clearance times for all new claims received in the relevant quarters.
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