Page last updated at 08:48 GMT, Friday, 14 September 2012 09:48 UK

Adjournment debate

Labour MP Michael Meacher led the adjournment debate on 13 September 2012, on the withdrawal of benefits and the death of a constituent, Colin Traynor.

Colin Traynor, 29, suffered severe epilepsy but was judged fit to work following a Work Capability Assessment in 2011. Mr Traynor's disability benefit was cut as a result and he appealed against the decision.

Mr Traynor died as a result of an epileptic seizure before the appeal could be heard. Shortly after Mr Traynor's death, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) informed his family that the decision had been overturned.

Mr Meacher criticised the nature of the medical assessment for relying on simple answers entered into an electronic form and said that the distress caused by the withdrawal of some of Mr Traynor's benefits worsened his health. Mr Traynor had previously been judged unfit to work in 2008, under a different test.

Answering for the government, Work and Pensions Minister Mark Hoban offered his condolences to Mr Traynor's family and reiterated that the DWP would be conducting an internal review of how the case was handled.

Mr Hoban went on to describe in detail the DWP's understanding of what happened in the handling of Mr Traynor's case, and the general process of calling individuals in for medical assessment.

Mr Hoban said that the work capability assessment introduced by the previous Labour government was flawed and that the DWP had been improving the test to reduce the number of appealed decisions.

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