MPs scrutinise benefits changes

This week the Work and Pensions Select Committee – the group of MPs who scrutinise what the Government is doing in the area of employment and benefits – published a report looking at the transition from Incapacity Benefit (IB) to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

ESA replaced IB for people making new claims in 2008 and, towards the end of last year, the Government started reassessing current IB claimants to see if they are eligible for ESA.

I had a look at the report, which raises some very important issues, including concern about the accuracy of the assessment (the Work Capability Assessment) used to determine whether or not people are eligible for ESA, with many people being wrongly denied the benefit and having to go through the stressful process of appealing the decision.

We welcome the publication of this report and, whilst we welcome the Government’s aim to support disabled people into work where they are able to do so, we call on them to make sure that the assessment is fit for purpose and allows people to access the support they need to realise their potential.

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