“Work Capability Assessment remains an ineffective process”

 A third Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is being undertaken by UK government adviser Professor Malcolm Harrington. The WCA was first introduced in October 2008 to assess entitlement to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and the Welfare Reform Act 2007 commits the Secretary of State to lay an independent report before Parliament each year for the first five years of operation.

This third review is part of an ongoing programme and will examine in more detail what happens to people found Fit for Work and people placed in the Work Related Activity (including Work Programme outcomes) and Support Groups, and the factors influencing these outcomes. A call for evidence was launched that ran from 12th July to 7th September 2012, with Professor Harrington particularly interested in views and evidence about the implementation of his previous recommendations and any changes relating to communications, face-to-face assessment and decision making.

Hafal has joined forces with the Centre for Mental Health, the Mental Health Foundation, Mind, Rethink Mental Illness, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Scottish Association for Mental Health to provide written evidence to Professor Harrington. Our evidence has found that the WCA remains an ineffective process that does not operate fairly or efficiently. We believe that significant further changes to the WCA are required in order for it to work fairly and effectively for people with mental health problems.

 A copy of our full response can be found here

For more information on the WCA please visit: http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/MoneyTaxAndBenefits/BenefitsTaxCreditsAndOtherSupport/Illorinjured/DG_172012