By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:22 AM on 28th April 2011

Reassessed: Iain Duncan Smith will take another look at the 2.6 million claimants

Reassessed: Iain Duncan Smith will take another look at the 2.6 million claimants

More than a million people have failed to qualify for state sick benefits since tough fitness tests were brought in.

The million – around three quarters of all new disability benefit claims – were found fit to work or have dropped their claims after doctors examined whether they were really disabled.

It means the taxpayer may now be saving as much as 100million a week that would have been paid to people wrongly claiming sickness benefits.

The Department for Work and Pensions figures show how successful new claims for sickness payouts have fallen dramatically since the Employment and Support Allowance was introduced in October 2008, replacing the notoriously abused Incapacity Benefit for new claimants.

It is only paid to those who have been assessed as unfit to work by doctors. Figures up to last August show that 887,300 of the 1,175,700 who tried to claim the handout were either classed as fit or dropped their claim.

Since drop-outs and fit-for-work findings have been running at the rate of around 40,000 a month since the beginning of 2009, it means well over a million people will by now have failed to secure the benefits.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith now plans to reassess the existing 2.6million long-term claimants on IB.

Among those who tried to claim the new benefit between October 2008 and August last year, only six per cent, 73,500, were assessed as unable to work at all.

A further 16 per cent, 188,300, were found to be entitled to sickness benefits but capable of taking some forms of work.

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Apparently 39% of the claims were dropped before the assessment finished. To those who maintain these appraisals weren't necessary if this isn't enough proof that huge numbers of claims were not genuine then you are suffering from an invincible misguided ideology. The money saved from these dishonest claimants will release more money for the deserving cases.

In other words the Goverment have told the Doctors (who I might add are paid VERY WELL for thier services) to fail most of them. This is just P.R. nothing more nothing less. If I were a G.P. I would find this insulting having my word as a professional questioned. I do not doubt for one minute that there are those who are trying to get off work, but why do we always think that people are lazy and do not want to work. The TV tells a different view when they interview unemployed people, who DO want to work. I have worked within this system and know exactly what they are doing, it is not the softly softly approach as they make out to be. 'Help people back to work' it is a joke, they are threathening and harsh on all those who are unfortunate enough to be made redundant. trouble now is that jobs are now getting in short supply and the Goverment are still insisting that people need to work, I ask them WHERE and HOW?

Divide and conquer ...thats all the Torys are doing with this propaganda

(quote) Good,now sort the GP's out,who appear to give out sick notes just to keep the peace when a patient disagrees that they are fit to work and gives a sob story. - Me, Now, Uk., 27/4/2011 17:57 (end quote) Not this old myth yet again. Get your facts straight. NO-ONE's doctor could sign them onto Incapacity Benefit. NO-ONE's doctor can sign them onto Employment Support Allowance. A company called ATOS carries out the "medicals" a claimants doctor has no input into the process.

No point being well enough to work, if another immigrant has your job. Plus, all the money saved taking away the benefits of the 'not really unwell' will now go to benefit tourists from E. Europe. Pathetic.

Now sort out MP's. Half of them are getting paid for doing nothing and that is also money from the tax payer.

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