Incapacity benefit crackdown begins after pilot scheme

Published on Monday, 04 April 2011 09:17
Posted by Scott Buckler

The one-and-a-half million people who claim incapacity benefit will start to receive letters this week asking them to be tested on their ability to work


The new assessments are part of government plans to reduce the number of long-term claimants in a rolling programme through to 2014.

Almost 30% of those who took the test during pilot schemes in Burnley and Aberdeen were declared fit to work.

However, disability charities say many of the assessments are unfair.

But Work and Pensions minister Chris Grayling said: "My message to people who are worried about this process is that this is all about helping those who can return to work.

"It's not about forcing people to return to work, but unless we do the assessments, unless we identify who has that potential, we'll never be able to offer that help."

During the pilot scheme, a further 39% were assessed as able to work but needing the right support to do so.

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