Assessment Changes

By: A.C.

Those who follow our Facebook News Feed will have noticed the usual Gov.UK logo announcing  Changes for Assessment (Work Capability Assessment) .

This announcement, which took effect on 29 September, is not exactly being trumpeted by the Government. Maybe because the changes relate to previously highly publicised and dogmatic decisions by the assessors on people who have chronic, lifetime diseases and other conditions who are incapable of work, yet were assessed as fit to work by these companies.

It is after all, the Political Party Conference Season and the Government probably do not want criticism and reminding of their past failures and dogmatic approach toward people with disables. 

The effect of this announcement is as follows:

“From 29 September 2017, the WCA reassessment criteria will change for some Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit (UC) claimants.

ESA claimants in the support group and UC claimants with limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA) attending a Work Capability Assessment from 29 September 2017 will no longer need to be reassessed if it finds that they:

  • have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition
  • are unlikely to ever be able to move into work

Claimants will be told if they will not be reassessed following their WCA.

This change does not affect:

  • ESA claimants placed in the work-related activity group
  • UC claimants who are found to have limited capability for work”

Re-assessment periods:

“Reassessment periods are decided by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on the basis of a claimant’s functional capacity. DWP is advised by healthcare professionals on:

  • the assessment of a claimant’s health condition or disability
  • the long-term effects of a claimant’s health condition or disability
  • when and if claimants should be reassessed”

Worsening condition

ESA claimants in the work-related activity group can request a WCA if they think that their condition has worsened to the extent that they should be placed in the support group.

UC  claimants with limited capability for work can request a WCA if they think that their condition has worsened to the extent that they should be placed in the LCWRA group.

LWRCA =limited capability for work and work-related activity: UC = Universal Credit”

Like all changes to legislation and the rules that derive from them, our experience at Aberdeen Action on Disability has shown that despite the wording, and the intention of the rules, that does not always translate into reality when dealing with the DWP or assessors.

This will take time to settle in as the new rules permeate the consciousness of the Government advisors and assessors, and as always, our volunteers are always available to assist with the completion of forms and give advice where it is felt the wrong decision by the DWP or assessors has been made. 

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