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Work Capability Assessment. (8th Dec 11 at 12:45am UTC)
Seriously ill cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy could face 'back to work' tests or have benefits removed

Government report said receiving automatic benefits could 'encourage dependency' among cancer patients

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2071002/Chemotherapy-proposals-Seriously-ill-cancer-patients-face-work-tests-benefits-removed.html#ixzz1ftph3w5z
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (21st Nov 12 at 11:15pm UTC)
Work Capability Assessment independent review – year three

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/welfare-reform/employment-and-support/wca-independent-review/

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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (21st Nov 12 at 11:19pm UTC)
The peoples review: http://wearespartacus.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/The-Peoples-Review-of-the-Work-Capability-Assessment.pdf
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (21st Nov 12 at 11:21pm UTC)
Celebrities join activists to back action on disability work tests

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17396
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (27th Nov 12 at 11:24pm UTC)
Prof Malcom Harrington published his year three review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). This was the final report from Prof Harrington before he steps down from the independent review.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/wca-review-2012.pdf

Prof Harrington acknowledges that both the WCA system and the DWP are complex and that improvements have not happened as quickly as anyone would like. However, he does say that, from the DWP, he received "nothing but support for what I was trying to achieve: that is, making the WCA a more humane and caring assessment which gives due consideration to those claimants who are least able to help themselves."

His year three review has looked at the changes that have happened so far, driven forward outstanding areas of work from previous reviews and proposed some additional recommendations.

Prof Harrington makes some key points in the introduction to his review, including the following:

There are two main strands to recommendations made throughout the reviews: to revise the process of the WCA from the first claimant contact right through to appeal (where necessary); and to review whether the current descriptors accurately capture the true nature of the claimants’ case.
The job is not yet complete. The improvements that have been started must be carried through to the end. It is important that the momentum is not lost and, indeed, that the changes are reviewed periodically to ensure that the alterations are working.
A number of the major charities in this year’s call for evidence say that although they have seen some change for the better, it is disappointingly incomplete in coverage and depth. Prof Harrington agrees with this. Changing such a large and complex process and such a controversial assessment takes time – but it is happening.

Key findings from the review

While progress has been made there remains much to do. The main areas for development are:

continuing to improve communications with claimants and with DWP operations (specifically Decision Makers and Personal Advisers)
continuing to improve the face-to-face assessment: the DWP should monitor Atos performance more closely. The quality and depth of the relationship between DWP and Atos remains variable at a local level.
establishing quality dialogue between the DWP and first-tier tribunals
keeping the Decision Maker central to the assessment process and providing them with all the further documentary evidence they need to get the decision ‘right first time’
continually monitoring changes to the WCA
completing work underway on the descriptors.

Recommendations on the training of professionals in DWP operations, Atos Healthcare and the tribunals have produced some limited progress. In particular, it is regrettable that the first-tier tribunal has effectively distanced itself from the rest of the WCA.

This work will continue into 2013 and Prof Harrington has been asked to chair the expert independent steering group overseeing the quality and validity of the evidence-based review. It is important to wait for the results of this before rushing to conclusions about how to change the descriptors.
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (8th Feb 13 at 11:12am UTC)
MPs criticise disability benefits tests http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21376915
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (3rd Mar 13 at 9:23pm UTC)
New independent WCA reviewer announced

The Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) has announced that Dr Paul Litchfield, the Chief Medical Officer for BT, has been appointed to carry out the fourth of the five independent reviews of the Work Capability Assessment required by the Welfare Reform Act 2007.
The DWP says that the review will continue the process started by Professor Malcolm Harrington to refine the Work Capability Assessment to better identify those who are capable of work over the short and medium term and those who will require longer term financial support.
An Independent Scrutiny Group, chaired by Professor David Haslam - past President of the Royal College of General Practitioners, National Professional Adviser to the Care Quality Commission, and Chair Designate of NICE - will oversee the review process.
Dr Litchfield will present his report to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions before the end of 2013.

DWP announcement http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2013/feb-2013/dwp028-13.shtml
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (10th Mar 13 at 2:21pm UTC)
http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/04/03/2013/59224/work-capability-assessment-slammed-by-house-of-commons.htm#.UTyUxTdNF3B

Work Capability Assessment slammed by House of Commons committee

The Government's controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA) regime, which is run for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by private firm Atos Healthcare, came under serious fire in February from the influential House of Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

The PAC published a report that was highly critical of the WCA system of medical assessments to gauge whether or not people claiming disability benefit are fit to work.

The report, Department for Work and Pensions: Contract management of medical services, said that the current system was "damaging public confidence and generating criticism of Atos, but most of the problems lie firmly within the DWP".

From April, a new medical assessment will be introduced as part of the Government's plans to replace the disability living allowance with a so-called "personal independence payment". That the DWP's decisions were overturned in 38% of appeals cast doubt on the accuracy of its decision making, the PAC said, and the system needed to be reformed.

Responding to the criticism, employment minister Mark Hoban said that the PAC had failed to recognise the changes and improvements made since an independent review in 2010 conducted by occupational physician Professor Malcolm Harrington.

In a separate development, in January the Government said it would be improving WCA for those awaiting, receiving or recovering from any form of chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer.

Such people would, in future, automatically be placed in its support group for employment and support allowance category, ensuring they received these benefits rather than risk being categorised as fit for work.

Also in January, the DWP published figures arguing that nearly one-third of people on the old incapacity benefits had now been found "capable" of some form of work.

More than 603,000 people on incapacity benefits had been reassessed since 2010, and the Government was now more than halfway through the reassessment of 1.5 million incapacity benefits claimants through the WCA.

Nearly one in every three - almost 180,000 people - had been assessed as fit for work and therefore were considered no longer eligible for sickness benefits.
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (17th Mar 13 at 12:08pm UTC)
15 March, 2013

Employment Minister Mark Hoban has answered a Written Parliamentary Question from Alison McGovern MP regarding Work Capability Assessments.

Alison McGovern MP (Lab, Wirral South): “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of Work Capability Assessments on the well-being of people who have a lifelong serious medical condition.”

Mr Hoban: “There is strong evidence that work is good for physical and mental well-being, and that being out of work can contribute to poorer health and other negative outcomes. A claimant for whom a return to work is considered unlikely within two years will be reassessed after two years. This is because, even for claimants who are unlikely to see an improvement in their health and who are unlikely to sufficiently adapt to their condition, it is important that we do not write them off completely.

“We recognise though that asking customers to attend an unnecessary examination is in no one's interests. For those whose condition is likely to qualify them for the Support Group, healthcare professionals (HCPs) will, where possible, advise using the available paper-based evidence. Only when there is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation would the HCP call a customer to attend a face-to-face assessment.”
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (14th Sep 13 at 10:57am UTC)
Meeting with minister sparks plan to build replacement for ‘fit for work’ test

http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/09/meeting-with-minister-sparks-plan-to-build-replacement-for-fit-for-work-test/
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (1st Oct 13 at 4:59pm UTC)
A letter urging Prime Minister David Cameron to get rid of work assessments for the disabled has been signed by the dean of St Paul's Cathedral. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24321105
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (8th Oct 13 at 6:35pm UTC)
I had one of these so called work capability assessments about 6 or 7 weeks ago
It was a complete and utter joke and the so called tests they want you to do are in no way possibly related to being capable of working
Can you lift both arms above your head {Confused} erm no i cant
Can you pick this small empty box up off the desk and put it back down {Confused} well yep i can just about manage that, so perhaps if a job comes up where im required to lift small empty boxes up, thats the job for me {Grin} {Grin}
Seriously some of the questions were beyond a joke, also i noticed the only available chairs in the room seemed to be approx 2 inches lower than a normal chair {Unsure} {Unsure}
I said I couldnt sit on such a chair and ended up having a proper chair brought in

To be fair, Im not disabled, but the tests are so stupid I did half expect someone to run into the room and shout
Youve been punked {Grin} {Grin} {Grin} {Grin}

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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (9th Oct 13 at 11:48am UTC)
They are back every 2 years maximum with the same questions in case you want a lifestyle change {Unsure}
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (16th Oct 13 at 6:15pm UTC)
Thanks Ian
That's really cheered me up {Grin}
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (18th Oct 13 at 2:12pm UTC)
Skinner on Atos work tests for disabled people http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-24552300

Labour's Dennis Skinner called on the prime minister to abolish its contractor which tests whether people are fit to work, or can receive benefits.

The MP for Bolsover spoke of the case of a constituent who died last week, and called on the government to "abolish this cruel heartless monster called Atos", and to change the amount of money given to people who are appealing against its rulings.

David Cameron said he would look into the case, but added people should have proper assessments about entitlement to benefits.

In response to criticism from MPs earlier this year, the company said it provides a "professional and compassionate" service.
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (23rd Oct 13 at 1:11pm UTC)
Over 150,000 people have complained about Work Capability Assessments conducted by private french firm Atos Healthcare, who carry out ‘fit for work’ tests on sick and disabled benefit claimants on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Figures obtained by Sky News show that the advice charity Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) have been inundated with complaints and desperate appeals for help from people who have failed assessments, many of which have serious long-term health conditions affecting their ability to work.

The CAB warn that severely sick and disabled people are being denied benefits as a result of a one size fits all ‘tick box’ medical assessment which is “unfit for purpose” and does not adequately take into account how people’s poor medical conditions limit their work capability.

http://welfarenewsservice.com/150000-complain-atos-fit-work-tests/
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (15th Dec 13 at 6:42pm UTC)
The fourth independent review of the Work Capability Assessment (Dr Paul Litchfield).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/work-capability-assessment-independent-review-year-4

free download
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/265351/work-capability-assessment-year-4-paul-litchfield.pdf
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (10th Feb 14 at 2:52am UTC)
Update

Hello to one and all
I return bringing forth an update re my work. capability test and the other stuff
I had an appointment at the job centre months ago to see if they could con sorry help me to find a part time paid or unpaid venture
The woman I spoke too said she had yet to see one single person who could actually manage said venture
(I suspect she meant job {Sad} )
Anyway we had a chat about Corrie and Emmerdale and she asked if I had been sent a letter about attending five workshops at one a month
I said I had
She promptly messed about with a keyboard thing and
Computer said no
as in no need to attend said workshops
She bade me farewell and said I may see her in approx 2 years after going through the ATOS/ESA circus

This happened months ago I just forgot to mention it
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (10th Feb 14 at 1:11pm UTC)
Did all that by phone saved a trip and wasted less of my time {Cool}
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Re: Work Capability Assessment. (21st Mar 14 at 11:21am UTC)
Select Committee http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/work-and-pensions-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/esa-wca-inq-2014/


Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was introduced in October 2008 for claimants making a new claim for financial support on the grounds of illness or incapacity. It replaced Incapacity Benefits, Income Support by virtue of a disability and Severe Disablement Allowance.

Background
ESA is paid to people who have limited capability for work (who are placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)), and people who have limited capability for work related activity (who are placed in the Support Group).

The majority of claimants applying for ESA are invited to a face-to-face assessment to help determine whether they fall within either of these two groups or whether they are fit for work. This assessment, called the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), is carried out by Atos Healthcare under its medical services contract with DWP. Atos produces a report following the WCA and this is used by the DWP Decision Maker, alongside any other additional evidence, to determine whether the claimant should be placed in the WRAG or the Support Group, or is fit for work.


In April 2011, the Government began reassessing existing Incapacity Benefits (IB) claimants to determine their eligibility for ESA using the WCA. The Committee published a report on Incapacity Benefit Reassessment in July 2011.

The Committee’s inquiry
In light of recent developments in this area, including the publication of a number of reviews of the WCA, expressions of concern from DWP regarding Atos’s performance in delivering the WCA, and the introduction of mandatory reconsideration, the Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into ESA and WCAs to follow-up its 2011 report.

Submissions of no more than 3,000 words are invited from interested organisations and individuals.

The Committee is particularly interested to hear views on:

Delivery of the WCA by Atos, including steps taken to improve the claimant experience
The effectiveness of the WCA in indicating whether claimants are fit for work, especially for those claimants who have mental, progressive or fluctuating illnesses, including comparison with possible alternative models
The process and criteria for procuring new providers of the WCA
The ESA entitlement decision-making process
The reconsideration and appeals process
The impact of time-limiting contributory ESA
Outcomes for people determined fit for work or assigned to the WRAG or the Support Group
The interaction between ESA and Universal Credit implementation
Submissions do not need to address all of these points.

The deadline for submitting evidence is Friday 21 March.

How to submit your evidence
To encourage paperless working and maximise efficiency, select committees are now using a new web portal for online submission of written evidence. The web portal is available on our website.

The personal information you supply will be processed in accordance with the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998 for the purposes of attributing the evidence you submit and contacting you as necessary in connection with its processing.

Each submission should:

be no more than 3,000 words in length
be in Word format with as little use of colour or logos as possible
have numbered paragraphs
If you need to send a paper copy please send it to: The Clerk, Work and Pensions Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA

Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within a proposed memorandum, in which case a web link to the published work should be included.

Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. It is the Committee’s decision whether or not to accept a submission as formal written evidence.

Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), or by making it available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence.
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