Government ‘failing the vulnerable’

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EAST Lothian Labour MP Fiona O’Donnell has accused the UK government of failing to deal with the problem of flawed work capability assessments for people who are claiming benefits.

She called on ministers to ensure that Atos, the private company which is conducting the assessments, takes proper account of the medical evidence it is given.

She urged them to tackle the number of assessment decisions that are overturned on appeal, pointing out the appeals were costing the taxpayer £45 million a year.

She said: “So many local people have come to me about decisions made by Atos that are at odds with the evidence provided and are subsequently overturned at appeal. This causes undue distress for the individual concerned, but is also wasting millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money each year.

“Until the Government makes Atos take full account of the medical evidence provided by those being assessed, the system will continue to let vulnerable people down.”