Almost three million disabled people face new assessments from companies such as Atos healthcare, G4S and Capita.
The new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) replaced the Disability Living Allowance from Monday of this week. Testing is now underway in the northern regions of England, with the rest of Britain soon to follow.
The criteria for being disabled enough for PIP are much harsher than those for DLA. Some 600,000 people are expected to lose it, according to disability charity Scope. Others will be moved to lower rates.
Atos was awarded £400 million for its part of the testing. Documents leaked in October of last year showed the firm was far from certain of being able to deliver all the tests on time.
It has already been the target of many protests over its work capability assessments for the ESA benefit. There are more than 1,000 cases of people dying of their conditions after Atos found them fit for work.
The government wants to get rid of the idea that people who are ill have a right to a decent level of benefits. Its reforms will make disabled people’s lives a misery—unless we force them back.