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October 29, 2010

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New benefit tests find most claimants are able to work

Following concerns expressed earlier this month about the speed and validity of the Government’s reassessments of those on incapacity benefit the DWP has announced that the “vast majority” of people are being found fit for work.

Three-quarters of people applying for the new Employment and Support Allowance programme (ESA) have either been declared fit after undergoing the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which determines what a person can do, rather than what they can’t, or they have stopped their claim before completing the assessment.

Commenting on the results of the programme – which is being piloted in Burnley and Aberdeen, before being rolled out nationally next year – employment minister, Chris Grayling (pictured), said: “With over two million people trapped on incapacity benefits, these figures underline how important it is that we make sure everyone who has the potential to work gets the right help to move off benefits and into a job.”

Responding to concerns voiced by, among others, disability charities about inadequacies in the system, the minister added: “I am determined that we get the medical assessment right, which is why Professor Malcolm Harrington is undertaking an independent review in consultation with a number of charities representing disabled people and those with mental-health issues.

“I am more than happy to take onboard any serious suggestions for changing the assessment, as I want it to be as near as perfect as we can be. This is not about pushing the sick and disabled into jobs but giving those that can work the help to do so, and those that can’t more, not less, support.”

Of the new ESA claims from October 2008 to February 2010, 39 per cent were found fit for work, and a further 39 per cent were closed before the assessment was complete.

The full statistics are available here.

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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