Thousands of terminally ill and disabled people are being forced to repeatedly undergo assessments to see if they can go back to work.
Some 2,020 MS sufferers, 440 patients with Parkinson’s disease and dozens of dementia victims have all been through multiple “work capability assessments” – which they must pass to receive their benefits.
Another 16,750 people with cancer have been forced to go through the process every two years, the Department of Work and Pensions revealed to MPs yesterday.
Charities reacted with anger and disbelief to the shocking figures, which come the day after David Cameron railroaded a raft of draconian benefit cuts through Parliament.
Anjuli Veall, of Parkinson’s UK, demanded an end to the “revolving door” of assessments and said: “Many are living with the stress and anxiety that they could, at any moment, lose the support they rely on.”
Nick Rijke, of the MS Society, said: “Multiple sclerosis is an incurable, disabling condition and people don’t just ‘get better’.
“Yet we have heard from hundreds who have been assessed and wrongly been told they are fit for work.
“Many people with MS are scared about the future and their financial security, and the stress of the assessment can make the condition worse.”
Work Minister Chris Grayling told MPs that people with MS, Parkinson’s, dementia and cancer needed to be reassessed because it would be wrong to “write them off”.
But Labour MP Tom Greatrex, who uncovered the “shocking”, figures said: “Thousands of people, often with conditions they will never recover from, are being subjected to a process that causes huge anxiety.
“If even a fraction of them are being put though the ordeal of face-to-face interrogation then this is callous in the extreme.”