Sickening indignity: Terminally ill patients face repeat fit-to-work tests


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.”

  • L S McKnight March 5, 2012 at 12:35 am

    As part of trying to prepare a submission to Leveson this is a selection of Dail Mail gems during a 1 month period.


    1/ Historic welfare reform ‘to end culture of benefits being seen as an acceptable alternative to work’ finally becomes law
    By JASON GROVES, POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT All By This Author – 02/03/2012 08:59:45

    2/ Why Britain’s fallen out of love with the welfare state
    By DOMINIC SANDBROOK All By This Author – 03/03/2012 11:49:48

    3/ Dave is onto a winner with welfare reform. But the polling suggests the public want him to go much further
    By NICK WOOD All By This Author – 01/03/2012 20:49:58

    4/ Creating a dynamic economy in Northern Ireland: Promoting enterprise, reforming welfare
    By OWEN PATERSON All By This Author – 28/02/2012 18:51:45

    5/ ‘Magda’: the truth of life on the dole: Polish woman speaks out over welfare tourist row
    By ALISON O’REILLY All By This Author – 05/02/2012 02:08:04

    6/ MPs agree 5.2% increase in benefits and pensions to protect claimants against inflation
    By DANIEL MARTIN,BECKY BARROW All By This Author – 24/02/2012 08:18:20

    7/ BLACK DOG: Benefit gig for Jester George as he ‘thanks’ Ed Miliband’s team for welfare cap vote
    By BLACK DOG All By This Author – 05/02/2012 01:51:05

    8/ Meet the middle-class benefits cheats who feel entitled to claim your taxes
    By MELISSA KITE All By This Author – 02/03/2012 08:52:57

    9/ Jobs, welfare and how the BBC went into battle for the Socialist Workers
    By MELANIE PHILLIPS All By This Author – 26/02/2012 23:48:18

    10/DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Curing the sickness of welfare addiction
    By DAILY MAIL COMMENT All By This Author – 22/02/2012 23:14:04

    11/ Gypsy jailed for pocketing £100k in benefits while she had £180k savings (that she claimed were for her children as part of ‘a gypsy tradition’)
    By DAILY MAIL REPORTER All By This Author – 18/02/2012 13:01:17

    12/ It’s not just the chavs who cheat at benefits: Meet the middle-class fiddlers who feel entitled to claim your taxes
    By MELISSA KITE All By This Author – 02/03/2012 11:56:51

    13/ Rollover time on the benefit lottery
    By RICHARD LITTLEJOHN All By This Author – 07/02/2012 23:04:01

    14/ Memo to Ed Miliband: Listen to your brother on benefits
    By NICK WOOD All By This Author – 02/02/2012 16:15:26

    15/ Sky TV, Special Brew, Superkings…those benefit cuts in full
    By RICHARD LITTLEJOHN All By This Author – 03/02/2012 07:53:59

    16/ Every little helps! Fury as Tesco offer unpaid nightshift jobs for ‘expenses plus the Jobseekers’ Allowance’
    By DAILY MAIL REPORTER All By This Author – 17/02/2012 11:42:29

    17/ Working families ‘betrayed by Labour’ over benefit cap: Miliband makes last-ditch attempt to derail proposals
    By JASON GROVES All By This Author – 02/02/2012 08:48:20

    18/ ‘Back to work’ firm in new row as it forces jobseekers to work for FREE in its own offices
    By JASON GROVES,SAM GREENHILL All By This Author – 23/02/2012 18:48:38

    19/ If public opinion is turning against the disabled, disability charities have only themselves to blame
    By STEVE DOUGHTY All By This Author – 06/02/2012 20:57:04

    20/ Government toughens stance to push through benefit cap and accuses critics of betraying working families
    By JASON GROVES All By This Author – 02/02/2012 08:30:21

    21/ Fight for the right to lie in bed all day
    By RICHARD LITTLEJOHN All By This Author – 21/02/2012 00:54:14

    22/ The delusions of X Factor and sneering job snobs who betray the young: IAIN DUNCAN SMITH sets out his determination to restore the link between hard work and success
    By IAIN DUNCAN SMITH All By This Author – 20/02/2012 23:34:52

    23/ ‘Slave labour’ work experience campaigners hacked my email, says furious government minister
    By RICK DEWSBURY All By This Author – 24/02/2012 12:11:36

    24/ Iain Duncan Smith attacks critics of unpaid work scheme
    By JAMES CHAPMAN All By This Author – 21/02/2012 09:04:25

    25/ Stacking supermarket shelves is better than dreaming of stardom via TV’s The X Factor,The Work and Pensions Secretary insists today.

    26/ Tories order police to halt workfare demos as MP makes formal protest to BBC over bias in favour of hard-Left militants
    By SIMON WALTERS,GLEN OWEN All By This Author – 26/02/2012 15:20:56

    27/ Disability claimant ‘who could only walk 10 yards’ caught playing golf on 18-hole course
    By ANTHONY BOND All By This Author – 17/02/2012 11:44:22

    28/ A small price to end jobless ‘slave’ smears
    25/02/2012 23:45:52

  • james March 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    Even when you have died they will send a letter to ask you to go for a medical this would be classed as a sick joke Unfortunately it has actually happened; the widow got the letter on the day of her husbands funeral .

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