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Over 3,700 medical assessments in first half of 2021

By David Lynch - 06th Aug 2021 | 43 views

A senior patient and a female doctor meet in a medical clinic while wearing protective face masks to avoid the transfer of germs.

There were 3,782 medical assessments carried out in the first half of 2021 to determine a person’s continued eligibility for illness benefit, according to figures provided to the Medical Independent (MI) by the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

“In the same period, 47 medical assessments, which had been initiated in 2020, were carried out to determine a person’s continued eligibility for disability allowance,” the DSP spokesperson said.

“Due to Covid restrictions, there have been no disability allowance control medical reviews initiated and no disability allowance payments ceased in the period from January 2021 to date.” The DSP said that during the first half of this year, a total of 185 illness benefit recipients were found to be no longer entitled to payment following a medical assessment. In January, MI reported that there was a small decrease in the number of medical assessments for illness benefit carried out by the DSP last year compared to 2019.

There were 8,885 medical assessments conducted in 2019 and 8,732 in 2020 to determine a person’s continued eligibility for illness benefit. Last year saw a significant increase in the number of assessments conducted for disability allowance. In 2019, some 1,099 medical assessments were carried out to determine a person’s continued eligibility for disability allowance, while there were 2,882 similar assessments in 2020.

“The increase… resulted mainly from further medical evidence that was provided by customers in response to a review of their entitlement,” the DSP spokesperson told MI in January. During 2019 and 2020 combined, a total of 256 disability allowance recipients were found to be no longer entitled to payment following a medical assessment and had their payment stopped.

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