‘Reconsideration’ fiddle for ‘fitness-for-work’ test


Vox Political

The number of sick and disabled people wrongly declared “fit for work” after taking the Atos-run work capability assessment for Employment and Support Allowance could be far higher than previously thought, it has been revealed.

It seems the Coalition government has been artificially inflating its figure for the number of people initially awarded the benefit by including the results of informal appeals, known as ‘reconsideration’.

The dodge was uncovered by Labour MP Sheila Gilmore, who sits on the Commons Work and Pensions select committee. She raised concerns about the figures in September.

A reply by Tory Employment Minister Esther McVey has admitted that figures covering the number of people initially awarded the benefit have been artificially boosted by the reconsideration process, in which people who have been found “fit for work” ask DWP civil servants to re-examine their cases.

If the decision remains the same, claimants can lodge a formal appeal…

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