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The DWP has announced that some claimants will no longer have to have repeat work capability assessments (WCAs) in order to continue receiving employment and support allowance (ESA) or universal credit.

The new rules apply to claimants who have to attend a WCA from 29 September 2017.

You will not have to be reassessed if:

You are in the support group for ESA or have limited capability for work-related activity for UC. (So, you will not be covered if are in the work-related activity group for ESA or you are a UC claimant who has limited capability for work); and

You have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition; and

You are unlikely to ever be able to move into work.

The DWP say that “Claimants will be told if they will not be reassessed following their WCA”.

This suggests that even claimants who are going to be exempt from further WCAs will have to have at least one more, though there is the possibility that it will be done only on paper and not require a face-to-face assessment.

However, no specific conditions are being named. Indeed, the criteria are so broad that there will be a huge amount of discretion to include or exclude claimants based on the opinion of a health professional who may have little or no knowledge of the effects of a claimant’s condition.

Benefits and Work is attempting to obtain the guidance given to health professionals in relation to exempting claimants from further WCAs.

The information published by the DWP is available from this link.

Comments  

+2 #5 ty 2017-10-06 13:33
CRITERIA FOR EXEMPTION

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2017/october/guidance-work-capability-assessment-reassessment-published
+1 #4 donald king 2017-10-05 09:18
I was sent an ESA50 at the end of June, and finally had an assessment in Hatfield at the start of September. I am 57, have had clinical depression and anxiety for 20 years, and a brain haemorrhage in 2014. I am also a carer for a friend & neighbour with paranoid schizophrenia. This 'no more reassessment' policy was first announced by Damian Green in October last year, so I wrote to my Tory MP asking her why I (in the Support Group) should be called up for reassessment now. I have heard nothing about my 'result' since my face-to-face. Needless to say, my mental health has hardly improved much over July, August, and September. One hopes the Tories have realised that mentally ill people have votes too, and are not necessarily stupid. One hopes that DWP and the 'assessors' they employ have also realised that 'seeming OK' and being 'tidily dressed' at a face-to-face is hardly the same as being 'fit for work.' Also that mental health conditions are not immediately apparent. These simple facts about mental illness seem to be unknown to the DWP, many Tory MPs, and most readers of the Daily Mail.
I hope the recent repeat of the DWP policy Green announced last year will help me. But I remain pessimistic - er, that's because I suffer from depression and anxiety!
#3 naheegan 2017-10-04 14:44
There was such a rush to clear the backlog of reassessments that many (how many?, many) were given appointments for repeat WCA's prior to the end of September. All of these claimants described in the DWP statement are likely to have another WCA at some point -I will. While disappointing for many, it is still good news for many others. I welcome the change (and grateful to those disability campaigners and others who fought for this), but the change in rules should have been done long ago.
Also grateful to B&W for pursuing clarity on those "severe, lifelong disabilities, illnesses or health conditions". This government has a habit of phrasing things in general terms, which in the finish, isn't helpful for claimants or those who provide advice.
#2 Colin 2017-10-03 19:43
Quoting Porridge:
I do not know what a WCA is? I have never had a face to face interview, is that what a WCA is? I have always been in the support group since this whole support group thing began, because I have a severe and incurable illness. Does it mean I have had WCAs done on paper only? Please clarify what a WCA is. Thank you.

Yes Porridge, a WCA (Work Capability Assessment) is a face to face interview. Maybe you've just been lucky? But many people have to attend a WCA at some point.
#1 Porridge 2017-10-03 16:04
I do not know what a WCA is? I have never had a face to face interview, is that what a WCA is? I have always been in the support group since this whole support group thing began, because I have a severe and incurable illness. Does it mean I have had WCAs done on paper only? Please clarify what a WCA is. Thank you.

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