Ulster Unionist Social Development spokesperson, Michael Copeland MLA has expressed his concern at the current reassessment process for people who are being moved from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Benefit.
Speaking ahead of a debate on the issue in the Assembly, Michael said:
‘This issue is of vast significance to a large amount of people in Northern Ireland who have found themselves greatly inconvenienced and placed under a high level of stress through no fault of their own.’
‘The process by which people are being migrated from Incapacity Benefit to Employment and Support Allowance has not gone smoothly for many. I have accompanied a large number of constituents to their appeal hearings after they have been awarded no points, only to find that once their case is reviewed their benefit has been reinstated.’
‘The most significant failure of the current system appears to be the lack in many cases of appropriate medical evidence. The amount of appeals taking place due to this each week is wasting a vast amount of public money and must be addressed immediately.’