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Join date : 2012-11-15

PostSubject: 140,000 ON SICK BENEFIT FOR TEN YEARS ARE FIT TO WORK    Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:07 pm


AS many as 140,000 people who have languished on sickness benefits for more than a decade are fit to work, investigators said yesterday.

The figures come from a sample group of 431,000 claimants who have had new medical assessments.

From this, a third were found well enough to get a job. And more than a quarter of those fit to work – 39,500 – had been claiming sickness benefits for more than 10 years.

If this sample is representative, the Department for Work and Pensions says in total 140,000 long-term claimants will be found fit to work as part of its reassessment of 1.5 million on incapacity benefits.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said the findings proved the welfare system was “broken”. Those who are found fit to work will see their payments slashed from £99.15 a week to £71 a week on Jobseekers’ Allowance. They will also be obliged to try to get a job.

Mr Hoban said the Government was “determined to do all we can” to get people back to work and off benefits. Incapacity benefits cost taxpayers about £13billion a year.

Thousands of claimants are now being reassessed every week. Critics claim that many are wrongly diagnosed then deemed fit to work and almost one in 10 assessment decisions is then overturned on appeal. Sweeping welfare reforms are said to be creating tensions within the Coalition Government. At issue yesterday was the new £500-a-week cap on the amount of benefits any single family can claim. It cuts maximum benefits to £26,000 a year, the national average wage.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg was reported yesterday to be insisting on higher taxes on the better off or those in expensive houses as his condition for agreeing the limits and the freezing of some benefits.

And Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather condemned the cap as “immoral”.
She said the measure would not produce the revenue the Government claims and accused ministers of trying to “gain popularity at the expense of children’s lives”. The former Children’s Minister said she was “terrified” about the prospects for many families.

Many in London, for example, will be forced to move out to cheaper areas but could then be even less likely to find jobs.

Ms Teather left her ministerial job in September’s reshuffle after facing calls for her sacking after she missed a key vote on the reform she had so publicly questioned.

A spokesman for Work and Pension Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said her criticisms were “hugely misinformed and therefore result in needless scaremongering”.

Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable defended the cap, saying it was needed largely to stop housing benefit “escalating out of control”.But he also defended Ms Teather on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, saying it was immoral to “demonise poor people”.

He warned the cap will have “very serious social consequence which Sarah has quite rightly warned about” unless more affordable housing became available.

The Government says that under its Universal Credit welfare system, people will “get support” to prepare to go back to work as soon as they start claiming sickness benefit, rather than sitting idle for months before they are medically assessed.
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PostSubject: Re: 140,000 ON SICK BENEFIT FOR TEN YEARS ARE FIT TO WORK    Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:08 pm

A letter of complaint has already been sent the The Express about their reporting on this issue signed by groups and individuals interested in protecting the welfare rights of those that are now needing to claim monies and those who will need to complain in the future. These issues affects everyone as anyone = or their loved ones- could be ill tomorrow or unemployed. Most housing benefit is paid to people IN WORK - the govt recognises that minimum wage is not enough to live in. Retirement pensions are the largest part of the welfare bill. Anyone reading anywhere outside articles like this knows that the assessments for the sick and disabled are flawed. With proper representation many advocates are achieving success rates of over 90% in appeals. In the meantime people are dying before their appeals even get heard. Does anyone really think anyone is going to curtail their life, their careers, their options for a measly (90 odd a week? Chris Grayling claims that WEEK for his food allowance! Most sick and disabled people live well below the poverty line.Many parrallels are being drawn between this govt's demonising of the disabled through unchallenged, bad journalism mouthpieces such as this and what happened in nazi Germany. Over 70 people are dying a week while being decalred 'fit for work'. Many are losing their homes, many are committing suicide. Irresponsible journalism and lazy minds happy to be sheep and not think for themselves are costing lives.
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PostSubject: Re: 140,000 ON SICK BENEFIT FOR TEN YEARS ARE FIT TO WORK    Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:10 pm

While persuing claimants of sickness benefits the government pay Abu Qutada and his family £2000 housing benefit and over £30k pa to live on, oh and he has cost the taxpayers over £5m in legal aid and now he wants £10m from the government for damages while he was in prison, absoulety disgusting! But never mind ATOS and the DWP can force a few hundred sick and disabled back to work and remove their benefits to hand over to the smirking hater of we kuffers of this once Great country.
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PostSubject: Re: 140,000 ON SICK BENEFIT FOR TEN YEARS ARE FIT TO WORK    Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:13 pm

I hope to god none of you ever become disabled...out of her depth you say...I don't think so. There is a big difference between people who cant work and people who can work..and a big difference in being in a job and being unemployed and trying to get a job. Scroungers eh..my daughter must be one then quadriplegic at 21 following an attempt to remove a spinal tumor in her C2..she has benefits but will be hit with this. She cant move and is in the support group. I work I pay taxes as does my partner..and we support her too...you shouldn't stereotype people the people who can not really work are getting penalised because of immoral and demonising attitudes. I used to be proud to be British...not anymore..some guy on twitter has just called me a scrounger and my daughter...he works for the DWP...nice one!!!!!!

We can't believe a word they say, what with people in hospital and in a coma being classed as "fit for work" - the government only wants to reduce the amount they pay out in welfare, but the bulk of that goes to pensioners and they won't touch them because Cameron made an election promise, and many of them vote Tory!
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