Developing

Man with terminal brain cancer told he's 'fit for work'

By Ian Dunt

A man with terminal brain cancer is among those being told they are 'fit for work' under the government's work capability assessment programme, new research has discovered.

Other figures told they would lose their disability benefit included someone with no short-term memory mechanism and an incontinent disabled man who is both blind and deaf.

"The work capability assessment is unreliable and unhelpful, as well as being arbitrary and cruel," said Peter Beresford, professor of social policy at Brunel University.

"It's a perfect storm of irresponsibility and unaccountability.

"No-one – not the doctors who make the assessment decisions, nor Atos which has responsibility for providing assessments, nor the Department of Work and Pensions which commissioned them – takes responsibility for the problems and failures in the system."

Today's report from the Spartacus campaign attacks the government for failing to consider a 'real world' test as part of the disability assessment system which would take into account real barriers to employment, rather than use an arbitrary, one-size-fits-all system.

Other examples in the 'People's Review of the Work Capability Assessment' report include a man whose benefits were stopped for failing to return the necessary forms, despite his wife informing the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) he was in a coma