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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

740 on benefits in South and West Cumbria are deemed fit to work

ONE in three sickness benefit claimants across south and west Cumbria are being assessed as fit to work.

Everyone claming incapacity benefit is being assessed and placed in one of three categories – fit to work now, cannot work, or possibly could work in the future with support.

New figures from the Department for Work and Pensions show that of the 2,120 claimants assessed across Barrow, Copeland and South Lakeland, 740 have been told they are fit to work and moved onto Job Seeker’s Allowance, the benefit paid to people actively seeking employment.

A breakdown reveals 950 people have been assessed in Barrow, of which 400 (42 per cent) are assessed as fit to work, 380 (40 per cent) placed in “work related activity group” which means they will receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – which replaces Incapacity Benefit – but it is hoped in time and with the right support the individual may work. The remaining 170 (18 per cent) were assessed as not able to work.

In Copeland 720 claimants have so far been assessed and 200 (27 per cent) deemed fit to work, 390 (55 per cent) may work with support in time and 130 (18 per cent) are unable to work.

Between the beginning of last year and February this year, 450 claimants were assessed in South Lakeland, of which 140 (31 per cent) are able to work, 200 (44 per cent) could work in future with help but 110 (25 per cent) were assessed as unable to work.

Employment minister Mark Hoban said: “The old Incapacity Benefit system condemned too many people to a life on benefits without any hope of ever going back to work.

“This was simply wrong. By reassessing everyone for ESA we can help thousands of people move from benefits and back into work if they are capable, while giving unconditional support to those who need it.

“I am under no illusion, however, that many face a difficult journey back into employment and we know this may take time.

“But for those who aspire to a life off benefits, the intensive support should be available through Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme to give them the best chance of finding a job.”

Thousands more claimants will be assessed in the coming months, or have been assessed since the data was collated. Nationally it is estimated more than 1.5 million people will undergo reassessment by 2014.

Figures for the three months from December to February 2012, show 36 per cent of claimants were assessed as fit for work and are not entitled to ESA, 39 per cent of claimants were placed in the work-related activity group and 25 per cent of claimants were placed in the support group.

Have your say

I know prince philip is now not fit for work(though he has never done any in his entire life),but,what about the rest of the parasitic scroungers that go to make up the rest of the royal family.

Posted by I Singleton on 9 November 2012 at 10:09

Good it's about time the government started dealing with all
The work shy and rogue disability and sickness cheats! The only
Problem now is that if these people are deemed fit to work! Who the
Hell is going to employ them? They'll just end up on job seeker's for
Their reminding working life!

Posted by John Solomon Fisher on 9 November 2012 at 08:25

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