DLA Assessment System is ‘Patchy’
Professor Malcolm Harrington, who was appointed by the Government to review the Work Capability Assessment, told BBC’s Panorama that as a result of the assessments people who are genuinely unable to work will suffer. He said, ‘There are certainly areas where it’s still not working and I am sorry there are people going through a system which I think still needs improvement.’
The assessment tests include checking a person’s physical fitness along with their mental skills.
According to Panorama, two-and-a-half million people in the UK take the assessment test because they are too ill to work. But more than 176,000 cases go to appeal tribunals each year, costing the taxpayer an additional £50 million.
Minister for Employment, Chris Grayling, said .’The Work Capability Assessment was introduced by the last government and we have made real efforts to improve it,’
‘The reason why we reassess people who are on sickness benefits is that all the evidence is that a substantial proportion can return to some form of work.
‘We have no financial targets for this. We simply believe that people who can work are better off being helped to do so, even if it can be a difficult and stressful process, rather than simply being abandoned on benefits for the rest of their lives. It’s about saving lives, not saving money.’
Disabled Made to Feel like ‘Benefit Scroungers’
The disability charity Scope carried out a survey which found that 46% of disabled people feel that attitudes towards them have worsened in the last year and they are increasingly accused of being ‘benefit scroungers’.
Scope’s chief executive, Richard Hawkes, said: “It is absolutely shocking that in 2012 almost half of disabled people feel attitudes have got worse and many have experienced aggression, hostility or name calling from other people.
“Disabled people keep coming back to the same concern: benefit scroungers. They single out fraudsters. They are concerned about coverage. They tell us strangers challenge them in the street about the support they claim. Yet fraudsters are a tiny minority of claimants.”