Few claims for new incapacity benefit

Only 3,800 people have been declared fully unfit to work since the introduction of a new incapacity benefit system a year ago, Trouw reports on Saturday. The paper says the government had expected up to 25,000 claims.

The new system, known as the WIA, was introduced to replace the WAO benefit which was being claimed by almost a million people in 2003.
The figures, from the benefit payment agency (UWV), also show a sharp drop in the number of WAO claims. Some 587,500 people are now living from WAO benefits. The reduction has been achieved by a number of measures, including extending the sick pay system to two years and introducing tighter health checks.
The new incapacity benefit system only covers people who are judged totally unfit for work, such as those with terminal cancer or severe mental health problems, Trouw says. People who are deemed to be only partly unable to work can claim top-up benefits.

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