Monday, 8 August 2011

Work Capability Assessment – Year 2 call for evidence

The Independent Review of the Work Capability Assessment is calling for evidence. You can see some of what we have written about this assessment here, and I am sure that many of you will have plenty of your own stories.

Specifically, they are looking for "information that is relevant to how the Work Capability Assessment is operating and what further changes, if any, are needed to improve the process".

You can see the full call for evidence information at the DWP website, where you can download the call for evidence (pdf) and the response document (rtf). They say they will provide information in alternative formats, but that these "may take some time to prepare, so please let us know as soon as possible if they are required". Considering this is a call for information about an assessment for disabled people, you might assume that large print, Braille, audio, BSL or Easy Read formats would have been produced automatically, and the fact that they have not been suggests that they are only expecting contributors to be non-disabled professionals working in the sector. Some could even suggest that the two-month duration of the call for evidence being a relatively short time, and alternative formats of information taking "some time to prepare", that they are hoping to avoid the contributions of disabled benefit claimants, but I couldn't possibly comment on that!

It is vital that the Independent Inquiry looking into the Work Capability Assessment hears from disabled benefit claimants who have undergone this assessment, or have fears about the assessment. It is us who will be most affected by the WCA, so we must not let the inquiry only hear from ATOS assessors and DWP staff about the implementation and impact of the WCA, and "what further changes, if any, are needed to improve the process".

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