Benefit claimants to be reassessed
Thousands of people on incapacity benefit will this week receive letters asking them to be reassessed to see if they can work as the Government steps up its welfare reforms.
The first letters were being sent out on Monday to some of the 1.6 million incapacity benefit claimants.
By the end of the week 7,000 people will have been contacted, rising to 10,000 a week by the end of April, with the first assessments happening in June.
The move follows the publication of final results from trial assessments in Burnley and Aberdeen, which ministers said confirmed almost a third of claimants were fit for work while a further 38% had the potential to work with the right support.
Of the 1,626 people assessed in the two trial areas, a third had been found fit for work straight away and transferred to Jobseeker's Allowance, 38% were assessed as able to work with the right support, while 30% have been placed in the support group for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - which means they will receive unconditional support and are not expected to look for work.
The Government said people genuinely too sick to work will continue to receive unconditional support from the state and will not be expected to look for work and they will receive a higher rate of benefit than they currently receive.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "The evidence clearly shows that there are people out there who, with the right support, will be able to gain employment and say goodbye to a life on benefits.
"For too long millions of people have been written off with no real support to get back into sustained employment.
"The changes we are making to the benefits system will ensure that those in genuine need get more support and those who could and should be working are given the opportunity to do so.
"A life on benefits is no longer an option."