Tag Archives: Work Capability Assessments

The government promised to help disabled people back into work. They’re failing – and now it looks like their Welfare Reform is targeting those who need higher levels of support. The Government published its long-awaited ‘Improving Lives: Work, Health and Disability’ Green Paper at the end of October 2016 after originally promising a White Paper in 2015. The White Paper was supposed to define how disabled people would be supported into work and meet the Government’s manifesto pledge of halving the disability employment gap of 34% by 2020 (currently it stands at 32%). The employment gap was used to justify further […]
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On Friday, campaigners from Disabled People Against Cuts, Mental Health Resistance Network and Boycott Workfare staged a stormy protest outside City Road Medical Centre in Islington, against the introduction of ‘job coaches’ into GP practices, under the rubric of ‘integration’ and ‘joined up care’. In fact, the arrival of job coaches in Islington GP surgeries exposes the toxic reality of government plans to merge health and employment services. In a move that is both unethical and unsafe, health professionals are being tasked to deliver benefit cuts for the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP). This involves  a raft of measures to support […]
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Much has been written about the Work Capability Assessment, including the fact that it was deemed as being fatally flawed by the Work and Pensions Select Committee : ‘The flaws in the Employment and Support Allowance system are so grave that simply “rebranding” the assessment used to determine eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance the Work Capability Assessment by appointing a new contractor will not solve the problems, says the Work and Pensions Committee in a report published in July 2014.’ The Work Capability Assessment was introduced by the New Labour government in 2008 and was exclusively conducted by Atos Healthcare until March […]
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I spent yesterday afternoon with the Labour Party Disabled Members Group discussing their ideas about the future of the Social Security system.  This was a group of people who rely on benefits in various ways, some to enable them to get to work, and some for everything.  When I get their  proposed amendments to the Labour Party policy proposals I will post them here. Much of the discussion was about the Work Capability Assessment, which they found humiliating, intrusive and unnecessary. Although nobody mentioned the Spartacus Network Beyond the Barriers report their views and proposed solutions were very similar.  They […]
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The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) used to determine eligibility for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has been dogged with problems since its inception. Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) ministers and Atos have always denied the existence of ‘targets’ for the WCA. Now, for the first time, this article presents evidence that the WCA operates to a norm-referenced system. This is a de facto target system, since when ‘statistical norms’ are applied to a process such as the WCA they deliver the same outcome as targets. As Lord Boswell predicted in 2007, this use of ‘statistical norms’ means “the test […]
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(to the tune of Greensleeves)   1          Alas ATOS they do me wrong, To treat me so robotically, I was down and out, they stopped my dole, I’m sick and homeless, in poverty.   (Chorus) ATOS said they really care, When statistics is all they want for their boss, ATOS said they’re truly fair, When all that concerns them is profit and loss.   2          They called me in for an interview Where two flights of stairs blocked my wheelchair But ATOS said I was fit for work It was my fault I couldn’t get there   3          My doctors […]
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