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Incapacity Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th May 2004.

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Photo of Joan Walley Joan Walley Labour, Stoke-on-Trent North

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many complaints have been received in the West Midlands about the tests for work applied to those on incapacity benefit.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The administration of incapacity benefit claims is carried out by Jobcentre Plus; the medical examinations are carried out by Atos Origin, which provides medical services on behalf of Jobcentre Plus.

Information on the number of complaints made to Jobcentre Plus about incapacity benefit tests is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

For the period March 2003 to February 2004, Birmingham Medical Services, which covers the West Midlands, carried out 43,162 incapacity benefit related medical examinations; for the same period it received 114 complaints about these examinations. These complaints covered a range of issues including clinical findings, accommodation, and travelling expenses.

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