Form BF5 (as applied to those in receipt of Incapacity Benefit) appears utterly unnecessary and pointless, but even for its stated purpose it is unjustifiably complex.

Both the form itself and its raison d'etre should be re-assessed.

Why is this idea important?

If anyone receiving Incapacity Benefit is offered a holiday outside the United Kingdom, they are required to complete Form BF5 and they are told that this is to tell the benefits agency that they will not then be available for consultation in that period, however ….

1. The form is clearly NOT used for that purpose, because there are examples in which a claimant has been asked to attend for interview during the period in which he/she has specified on form BF5.

2. If it were about unavailability, then it would apply to any absence from home, not just those outside UK

3. The form consists of THIRTEEN PAGES, and includes a re-statement of almost all the information that the agency already holds on file:  Details of medical condition and names and addresses of medical practitioners  involved, Details of arrangements (eg Bank details) by which benefit is paid etc etc etc.

Either all that is never looked at, or a lot of clerical time is wasted, and in either case a lot of paper is wasted.  (Think green!)

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