Channel 4 investigation reveals government'​s work capability assessment programme is clogged with costly, unresolved cases.

A C4 investigation reveals that government attempts to cut its welfare bill is in chaos with many claimants stuck in costly appeals and assessments. Photograph: Stockbyte/Getty Images

Thousands of ill and disabled people have become trapped in a revolving door of medical assessments and appeals at a cost of £​80m, with many claimants on their second and third attempts to overturn rulings that remove their benefits.
The government'​s drive to cut Britain'​s multibillion-pound welfare bill by moving long-term unemployed people off sickness benefit and into work is at risk of descending into chaos, according to a Channel 4 news investigation.
The work capability assessment programme, which assesses benefit claimants to see whether they are fit for work is "​teetering on the brink of collapse"​ as the system becomes clogged up with appeals.
Ministers introduced more stringent medical tests as part of welfare reforms designed to cut the number of people claiming incapacity benefits, currently at 2.4 million. They say sickness benefits are too often abused as an excuse for being out of work, and have pledged to end what they call the "​something for nothing"​ culture.But the number of appeals by claimants who believe they have been incorrectly assessed as medically able to work has quadrupled in two years, with the projected numbers for 2011-12 expected to reach 240,000.


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