Three out of four disabled people have endured “unacceptable” delays for vital payments because of hated fit-to-work firm Atos.
Official figures show just 25% of Employment Support Allowance assessment claims are being processed within the Government’s 13-week target.
More than 30,000 people dealt with between February 2012 and June 2013 had to wait more than a year for their claim to be completed. A further 35,700 waited between nine and 12 months.
Richard Hawkes, of disability charity Scope, said: “These figures are damning, but all too predictable. It’s unacceptable that people are facing long delays.”
Disabled people must undergo Atos fit-to-work assessments before they can claim ESA. While they wait, they survive on reduced benefits.
Just 125,500 of the 490,800 ESA claims in the period were dealt with inside the 13-week target.
Rachel Reeves, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: “It is outrageous sick and disabled people must wait months for the support they need.
“David Cameron has to take responsibility for the shambles.”
Atos has faced furious protests over its draconian work assessments. And it emerged in June the company has a backlog of more than 700,000 cases.
The Government has said Atos will be replaced with a new contractor early next year “to speed up assessments”.
The Department for Work and Pensions said benefit payments are backdated when the claims are processed.