Half of incapacity benefit claimants 'fit to work'

Latest sickness benefit reassessment figures published

More than half of those on incapacity benefits who were reassessed by the government over a three-month period have been deemed fit to work.

Statistics published by the Department for Work and Pensions this week show that following initial assessments for new Incapacity Benefit claims between June and August 2011, 54% were found fit for some form of work.

An additional 19% were found fit for some work with the right help and support, while the remaining 27% were found to have limited capability for work and to be allowed the benefit.

Those found fit to work will be moved to Job Seeker’s Allowance, while those found to be fit for some work with the right support will be placed in the Work Related Activity Group, where they receive a higher payment than those on Jobseekers' Allowance and are provided with help to prepare for work where possible.

Employment minister Chris Grayling said: “Our reforms are built around the simple premise; we want to look at your potential to work not just your limitations. For too long people were left with no support sitting at home on benefits. It is clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to do some work.

“For those who need additional support getting into work, the Work Programme provides tailored support to help overcome whatever barriers they may face.”

The Government is currently reassessing those on incapacity benefit using the work capability assessment to determine whether they are eligible to move to the new Employment and Support Allowance.

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