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Grayling: Majority of sickness benefit claimants 'fit for work'

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Grayling: Majority of sickness benefit claimants 'fit for work'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Bill Payments, Housing

Grayling: Majority of sickness benefit claimants 'fit for work' Grayling: Majority of sickness benefit claimants 'fit for work'

The majority of new sickness benefit claimants are able to do some sort of work, Employment Minister Chris Grayling insisted today.

Latest figures show that 57 percent of people who go through the Government's Work Capability Assessment are found fit for some form of work.

The official statistics published today also show that 22 percent of people will go directly into the 'Support Group' classification, receiving unconditional financial support.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said: "These reforms are changing the landscape of our country. By concentrating on what people can do, we will help people back into work and out of the trap of benefits that has blighted communities. We want to help everyone who can be in work to get there, not just for themselves but for their children.

"It is clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to do some work. For those that need additional help our new Work Programme is up and running and will tailor support to people’s needs so that they can overcome whatever barriers they face."

The number of working age people on ESA and incapacity benefits at May 2011 is the lowest since 1996 but there are still 2.6 million people claiming, 916,970 of which have been on Incapacity Benefit for over a decade.

Claimants with an outcome for their claim can be broken down as follows:

  • 43 percent of claimants were entitled to the benefit. Within this 21 percent of claimants were placed in the Work Related Activity Group; and 22 percent of claimants were placed in the Support Group;
  • 57 percent of claimants were assessed as Fit for Work and are no longer eligible for Employment and Support Allowance.

According to the Department for Work and Pensions, the reduction in the Incapacity Benefit caseload is a direct result of the reassessment process which sees people on Incapacity Benefit assessed using the Work Capability Assessment to determine eligibility to Employment and Support Allowance.  A quarter of the 1.5 million Incapacity Benefit claimants going through re-assessment have begun the process.

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