More than half being assessed for incapacity checks can work, says Government


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More than half of people being newly assessed for an allowance which replaced Incapacity Benefit were found to be able to do some form of work, according to Government figures.

The Department for Work and Pensions said new claims for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) showed that 54 per cent of people assessed could do some work, while 46 per cent were eligible for the benefit.

The figures, for the quarter to February, also showed that one in four of those assessed were put in a group given unconditional support as they were too ill or disabled to work.

Those found fit for work will be helped through initiatives like the Work Programme to find a job.

ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit in 2008.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban said: "We know that many people with disabilities or health conditions want to work and that the old Incapacity Benefit system simply wrote them off to a lifetime on benefits.

"We are determined to carry on improving the assessment so those who are too unwell to work get the financial support they need, while those who can work get the help they need to get a job.

"With annual independent reviews and by working with medical experts and charities, we have substantially improved the Work Capability Assessment process, which is resulting in a fairer system."