Page last updated at 10:10 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

One in 10 on incapacity benefit

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The government said it was trying hard to help people return to work

One in 10 of the working population of Torbay is unable to work because of illness, new government figures show.

About 7,600 people in the unitary authority area are claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), the replacement for incapacity benefit.

Stress or anxiety, depression and back problems are the most common reasons for claims.

The Department for Work and Pensions said it was trying hard to help those who can and should return to work.

A total of about 25,000 people are claiming the benefit across all of Devon.

As well as Torbay's 10.1%, in Plymouth it is 8.1% and 5.9% for the Devon County Council area.

The national average for Britain is 7.1%.

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