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380 people claiming incapacity benefits in North Devon and Torridge deemed 'fit to work'

By NDJWill  |  Posted: January 29, 2013

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A quarter of all people claiming incapacity benefits in Torridge and 30 per cent of people claiming the support in North Devon have been re-assessed and found to be fit to work.

Figures which show the outcome of incapacity benefits re-assessments since 2010 have been released this week and show how 240 of 790 claimants in North Devon were found to be capable of working.

In Torridge 140 of 540 claimants assessed were found to be fit for work.

Those people who have been assessed as capable of working are now no longer eligible for sickness benefits and will get long term help from Jobcentre Plus and the Work Programme to find a job which is right for them.

In North Devon and Torridge combined there are 360 people who receive unconditional support as they are too ill or disabled to work.

A total of 600 people across the two authorities were found to be too ill or disabled to work they were when assessed, but are expected to eventually return to employment.

Nationally more than 603,000 people have had their claims re-assessed since 2010 and almost 180,000 of them, around a third, were found to be claiming the support when they were capable of supporting themselves through work.

A further 120 people across North Devon are still waiting for their claims to go through the re-assessment program.

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  • tricia777  |  January 30 2013, 12:05PM

    May I suggest that anyone found "fit for work", or thinks they have been wrongly placed following a medical by ATOS requests a copy of their medical examination and carefully checks it to ensure that the information given by the ATOS doctor is correct. My husband aged 60 is on morphine along with much other medication, and uses a mobility scooter having osteoporosis of the spine which has collapsed in several places, along with osteoarthritis affecting his neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips and knees. He walks short distances using a stick or crutches. He too on his first ATOS medical was found fit for work! After a reconsideration he was put into the WRAG group. He stayed in this group, and his advisor told us that in their opinion he should be in the support group, and has been unable to find a placement for him due to his disability. After his last medical we requested a copy of the report and found that he was able to walk 200m!! This was not the only lie that it contained. And yes Im afraid that it was lies. I should have expected it really as ATOS are working for the government to reduce the welfare budget, and are paid for doing so, so it is in their interest that they get people off the higher paid disability allowance, and onto unemployment benefit,payable at a lower rate. But I was still shocked. This government is wrecking our welfare system, which will be in tatters when PIP takes over later this year. And ATOS have the contract to do the assesments for PIP. Heaven help us. Behind these figures is much human suffering.

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