The first published findings from the government’s incapacity benefit reassessment programme have confirmed that a substantial proportion of claimants have the capacity to return to work if they receive the right help to do so.
The provisional figures show that we have made 1347 decisions of which:
- 399 have been found fit for work (29.6%)
- 422 are in the support group for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – this means they will receive unconditional support (31.3%)
- 526 are in the Work Related Activity of ESA – this means with the right help and support they can start the journey back to work (39%)
The government will continue with its plan for a further limited rollout from the end of this month before the full nationwide launch in April. Once the nationwide rollout begins around 1.5m people will be assessed. The government is already well advanced with the introduction of changes to the work capability assessment recommended in the recent Harrington report and all the planned changes will be in place for the full national roll-out of the programme.
Employment Minister Chris Grayling says, "The initial findings from Burnley and Aberdeen serve to underline why it is right to reassess income benefit claimants and to launch the work programme to give those who can work the specialist help they need to do so. Too many people were simply abandoned to a life on benefits. We are determined to put a stop to that terrible waste of potential. The welfare state in this country is no longer fit for purpose."
The moral is that the state will no longer be there to help for many people, so income protection insurance is increasingly vital.