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Govt changes to the welfare system 'are too rigid'

Govt changes to the welfare system 'are too rigid'
27th May 2010

A leading Parkinson's disease charity has expressed concerns over the government's proposed changes to the country's welfare system.

Parkinson's UK feels that people may miss out on benefits if the new assessment rules do not take into account fluctuating conditions like Parkinson's.

The new proposals suggest that all people receiving Incapacity Benefit are assessed for their fitness to work, with those deemed well enough to work being moved onto Jobseeker's Allowance.

This concerns Parkinson's UK chief executive Steve Ford, because Parkinson's disease is a complex condition which can leave people appearing fine one moment, then complete incapacitated the next.

He said: "Benefits assessors should have appropriate training on complex conditions like Parkinson's to ensure that assessments are fair.

"They need more time to assess people and must take account of previous medical history."

According to the charity, Parkinson's disease currently affects about one in every 500 people in the UK, equating to around 120,000 citizens.

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