Benefits shake-up ‘in chaos’ as applicants face long wait

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THE Government’s controversial scheme to get people off benefits and into work is “in chaos”, with eight out of 10 applicants waiting almost three months to be assessed.

The coalition has admitted 82 per cent of claimants last year waited longer than its target of 13 weeks on whether they should be allowed to continue receiving support.

The figure is 15 per cent higher than for 2011, and raises the issue that the sick and disabled are suffering further stress from waiting for a decision.

Employment Minister Mark Hoban revealed that from January to August last year only 44,210 people were assessed within the 13-week period, compared with 196,050 who had to wait longer. It suggests around 260,000 people were not assessed on time.