National Audit Office queries cost of Disability Benefits Tests

2015 General Election - Cabinet

The National Audit Office has said that the cost of disability benefit assessments, also known as fit-to-work tests, have increased to £579 million per year.

The announcement puts pressure on Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, to review the cost of the process. The cost of each individual test has increased from £115 to £190 with the total cost of the assessments nearly doubling.

The National Audit Office research also showed that the private operators running the tests were not meeting the conformance standards which had been set by the Government.

Meg Hillier, the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, said:

“The department needs to do more to ensure private providers deliver a better deal for sick and disabled people as assessments have a huge impact on their ability to access vital cash to live with dignity”.