Total Comments: () | Add Comments
A new research study has found that Wales will be the hardest hit by incapacity benefit change. Around 75,000 of the 180,000 incapacity benefit claimants in Wales will fail to be eligible for the new benefit when it comes into force in 2014, the study’s researchers have estimated. The study, which was conducted by Sheffield Hallam University, predicts that 20,000 individuals who currently receive incapacity benefit will be transferred onto Job Seekers Allowance. The Government has claimed that the changes to the system will encourage people to enter into employment and provide greater support to individuals in genuine need of financial support. The report states that the reforms to the benefits system will largely impact former industrial areas in which local economies have struggled against job losses and a shortage of job opportunities. The researchers highlight Merthyr Tydfil as being the worst affected area of Wales. This area boasts the highest rate of incapacity benefit claimants in the UK. Professor Steve Fothergill, a co-author of the report, said that while the number of individuals on incapacity benefit needed to be reduced, the Government’s proposals did not provide a satisfactory way in which to do so. Professor Fothergill claims that the Government’s plans are likely to “impoverish” a considerable number of households and cause claimants “untold distress”. Duncan Lewis’ Welfare Benefits solicitors understand that the constant changes to the welfare system renders it difficult for their clients to receive the support that they are entitled to. The Welfare Benefits team are able to explain the types of benefits their clients should be entitled to receive and are able to assess clients’ eligibility for benefits.