Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Anger as seriously ill are told they’re fit to work

Angry Assembly members have warned people who are seriously ill in receipt of incapacity benefit are being told they are fit for work.

MLAs demanded changes to the central tests currently being conducted on thousands who have been on benefits for years.

Sinn Fein’s Mickey Brady said: “Mental health was assessed by asking general knowledge questions, such as who is the British Prime Minister. Someone not actively rocking in their chair is taken as an indication that they do not have a mental illness.”

Ulster Unionist Michael Copeland said: “The truth is many people are being put through a process that tells them that they and their doctors are wrong.”

The DUP’s Paula Bradshaw added: “In many of the appeals that have been overturned, that decision has been due to the extra medical evidence.”

And the SDLP’s Mark Durkan said: “People with serious debilitating conditions are being told that they are capable of work.”

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