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People claiming disability allowance to face stricter tests

Published: 01/10/10

In an effort to reign in government spending the new Conservative chancellor George Osborne has indicated that he is considering introducing new stricter medical tests for both existing and new Disability Living Allowance claimants.

The intended aim being to move people off the benefit and to also discourage would be benefit cheats from making false claims.

Claims for the allowance which was first introduced in 1992 are now estimated to amount to £11 billion per year. National statistics for November 2009 showed that in the UK as a whole there were more than 3.1 million claimants of Disability Living Allowance of DLA as it is also called. Each of these claimants is paid varying amounts depending on their needs.

The DLA allowance which is different from the old Incapacity Benefit is a benefit for people who claim they are disabled and is typically paid to those who can prove a need for a carer or because they have a physical or mental condition that impairs their mobility. It is designed to help disabled people meet additional costs for their care or mobility, and is paid regardless of them working or not.

Charities, pressure groups and those on the left of politics have reacted angrily to the governments proposals. Many support the current system and believe the governments attempt to target ‘scroungers’ and benefit cheats will also hit genuine claimants as well. They point out that typically well over 50 per cent of applications for DLA are rejected in the first instance.

Critics of the proposed new reforms accuse the Conservative government of picking on some of the most vulnerable in society to help them reign in the budget.

Copyright Disability Job Board 2010.