This article analyses the number of claimants (known as the caseload) and payment amount for the Employment and Support Allowance benefit in the Lancashire-14 area in February 2016.
ESA is for people with an illness or disability that affects their ability to work. They must be under state pension age, and not receiving either Jobseeker's Allowance, statutory sick or maternity pay. The data is released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and can be sourced via the DWP Stat-Xplore data download tool, or from the National Online Manpower Information System website (Nomisweb).
In February 2016, the Lancashire-14 area had an ESA caseload of 68,270 people, and 49.3% of this number (33,660) were classified under the health condition of 'mental and behavioural disorders'.
Blackpool (10,780), Blackburn with Darwen (8,560), Lancaster (5,720), Preston (6,670) and Burnley (5,320) had the greatest caseloads in the Lancashire-14 area in February 2016 and Ribble Valley 1,340 had the lowest.
The weekly ESA benefit payments in February 2016 at the local authority level in the Lancashire-14 area were the highest in Blackpool (£121.60) and Lancaster (£119.49), whilst the lowest weekly rate of £107.79 was in Ribble Valley. The figure for Great Britain was £115.89.
The caseload grew by 1.9% (44,980) within Great Britain to 2,367,960, and by 1.2% (780) in the Lancashire-14 area to 68,270 between February 2015 and February 2016.
ESA numbers seem to be stabilising, with small reductions recorded in the year to February 2016 in four of the Lancashire-14 authorities. This is the first time numbers of claimants have declined since the benefit was introduced in October 2008, and is likely to reflect the roll out of Universal Credit.
Blackburn with Darwen recorded the largest reduction of 230 cases (2.6%) between February 2015 and February 2016, followed by South Ribble, with a fall of 40 cases (1.2%), Preston, also with a drop 40 cases (0.6%), and Chorley, which saw a decrease of 20 cases (0.5%).
Blackpool saw the greatest yearly increase of 360 cases (3.5%) between February 2015 and February 2016, followed by Lancaster with a rise of 220 cases (4.0%) and Wyre that saw growth of 180 cases (4.4%). Wyre recorded the largest percentage rise, followed by Fylde (4.1%) that had a yearly increase of 100 cases.
Page updated September 2016