The DWP is due to release the next set of quarterly statistics for the work capability assessment, the medical test for employment and support allowance, at the end of October. Past releases have been a source of viciously untrue attacks on sick and disabled claimants and there’​s no reason to suppose this occasion will be any different.

Steve Griffiths of the Informed Compassion website has produced a briefing paper highlighting the misleading statements in the press following previous statistical releases, along with the a more accurate assessment of the figures.

The briefing will be a useful tool for anyone who wishes to contact the press complaints commission or their MP in connection with whatever unpleasant distortions are published in the next few days.

You can download a copy of the briefing paper in .pdf format from this link.

There has also been a very detailed look at the change in the way the press portrays disabled people, and disabled claimants in particular, over the last five years. An 87 page report by the University of Glasgow has found that:

“​Much of the coverage in the tabloid press is at best questionable and some of it is deeply offensive. The increased focus on benefit fraud, with outlandish claims that over 70 per cent of people on disability benefits are frauds, is an example of this type of reporting.”​

The full report: “​Bad News for Disabled People: how newspapers are reporting disability”​ can be downloaded from this link.


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