The Benefit System, Welfare to Work, Work Capability Assessment

– The government’s new fitness for work assessments commence!

The first phase of the government’s major welfare reform programme commences today with long-term incapacity claimants in Burnley and Aberdeen being the first in the country to be reassessed for their ability to work.

The reassessment is designed to bring the one-size-fits all approach to an end with health conditions and disabilities which have resulted in 2.1 million people becoming dependent on benefits.  The government have continually reiterated their commitment towards reforming the welfare system and providing back to work assistance to those who have been written off but are capable of working.

Individuals receiving incapacity benefit in Burnley and Aberdeen will have to undertake a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).  This will determine the nature of the work that people can and cannot do.  Ministers have made it clear that the most severely disabled and terminally ill people will not be expected to work and have said that they will receive extra cash and support through the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) scheme.

The Rt Hon Chris Grayling, the Minister of State at the Department for Work and Pensions, said:

It’s unacceptable that so many people have been written off to a lifetime on benefits and today marks the start of the journey back to work for thousands who have been cast aside.

We know that many of the people trapped on incapacity benefits could and do want to work, but the current system doesn’t allow them to.  That’s why we’ll be reassessing everyone claiming incapacity benefits, starting in Burnley and Aberdeen today and the rest of the country from spring next year.

Everyone who can work will get the help and support they need to get a job. Those found too sick or disabled to work won’t be expected to and will continue to receive help and support to lead fulfilling lives.”

DWP:  Department for Work and Pensions

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