Statistics show our benefit reforms are justified

Published on Thursday, 15 March 2012 12:12
Posted by Scott Buckler

More than one third of people going through Incapacity Benefit reassessment have been found to be fit for work, according to the first set of official statistics released today

Figures for the first 141,100 Incapacity Benefit claimants to start the reassessment process show 37 per cent of those whose claims have been concluded have been found fit for work.

The remaining 63 per cent of claimants were entitled to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA):

  •     Thirty four per cent were placed in the Work Related Activity Group, where they will receive personalised help and support to help them prepare for a move into suitable work in the future.
  •     Twenty nine per cent were placed in the Support Group and will receive unconditional financial support and will not be expected to work.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

    “These first figures completely justify our decision to reassess all the people on Incapacity Benefit. To have such a high percentage who are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been.

    “We know that for many it will be a long haul back to work but it’s much better to help them on the journey than to leave them on benefits for the rest of their lives.”

About 1.5million Incapacity Benefit claimants are being reassessed and will either be moved on to ESA or found fit to work as part of the Government’s reform of the welfare system. The Government does not believe it is acceptable to write people off to a lifetime on benefits because they have a health condition or impairment, and wants to support families back to work.

Claimants are taken through the Work Capability Assessment to decide whether they are entitled to ESA. ESA provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who may be able to work at some point in the future with the right assistance.

Today’s statistics do not include information on appeals which claimants are entitled to lodge. The final proportion who are deemed fit to work is likely to fall as some appeals will be successful.

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