Crisis criticises Work Capability Assessments
Crisis has warned that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) system is still failing vulnerable people despite changes proposed in an independent review a year ago.
The warning comes as the call for evidence for the second of five annual reviews of the system by Professor Harrington of the University of Birmingham, on behalf of DWP, closed last week. Crisis claims there has been little improvement and many vulnerable people are still being declared fit to work despite suffering from mental health conditions.
The WCA was introduced in 2008 to replace the incapacity benefit system and people need to ‘earn' 15 points to be eligible for the Employment and Support Allowance benefit.
One of Crisis' clients said: "I think everything went well because I was being seen by a professional, but I only got six points because of my disabled hand, there was nothing about my depression."
Crisis also points at the costs of the appeal process which are spiralling out of control.
Crisis, in their official response, is calling for more rigorous monitoring on staff that carry out the tests and declare people fit to work. The charity is also calling for them to receive greater training in understanding and assessing mental illnesses and fluctuating conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis. There is also a need for improved communication with claimants as they go through the WCA process.
Read Crisis' full response here