Incapacity claimants paid benefits for more than five years

More
than half of people deemed unfit for work by doctors are paid incapacity
benefit for more than five years, according to new government figures.

Treasury
figures for November last year show that 51 per cent of the 2.7 million
incapacity benefit claimants are off work for more than five years, costing the
taxpayer £16bn a year. This compares with 46 per cent in November 2000.

Only
16 per cent of claims in 2003 lasted a year or less.

Claimants
are eligible for £84 per week for incapacity benefit, while those on jobseekers
allowance can only claim £55 a week.

By Michael Millar

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