Claims checks must be accurate
DISABILITY, as evidenced by its dictionary definition, can mean very different things to many people. And this is the problem the current government, any government, in fact, faces as it introduces a new disability benefits test for claimants. The effects of this rigorous new official yardstick are already tangible for thousands of local people.
Within the Bristol area there have been around 31,000 people making claims on the grounds their various disabilities rendered them unfit for work. So far more than 3,000 of them have found their claims being scrutinised by the Department of Work and Pensions. The results are quite staggering. The checks decreed that 1,250 of those claimants were declared "fit for work" while a further 1,550 could actually be employed, with some support provided. Only 730 were deemed able to carry on claiming regardless.
Quite shocking figures but do they tell the whole story? Have so many claimants really been hoodwinking those running the system? If so, why has that happened for so long? Then there's that dictionary definition.
It's so wide-ranging who can apply an arbitrary judgement on anyone else's genuine disability? Above all else, these new tests will rightly be ridiculed if they wrongly remove benefits from genuine claimants.
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