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Lapse by work capability firm Dependability

Benefits restored to 20 claimants

It's emerged the company carrying out controversial fit-for-work tests in the Island has breached the rules in 20 cases.

Dependability Ltd is required to employ two registered mental health nurses for face-to-face workplace assessments.

It has emerged one assessor used by the company in a number of recent cases was not properly qualified - and a result 20 people who lost incapacity benefits will have to undergo a fresh test. 

The lapse has been explained in a letter to Tynwald members by Treasury Minister Eddie Teare - who says under Manx law, one of the assessors was not eligible to conduct one-to-one tests.

Mr Teare's letter corrects information he gave Tynwald in March, and information given by Bill Henderson, who has responsibility for social security, in a press release in February this year.

Ten of the 20 claimants who lost benefits will have their payments restored and backdated. 

The other 10, whose payments hadn't yet stopped, have been told they will continue.

All the claimants will now be called for a repeat assessment.

Treasury has confirmed that all other assessors undertaking face-to-face assessments are professionally registered. Mr Teare said: 'We have reviewed our governance arrangements to ensure that this isolated process failure cannot happen again.’

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