Ataxia UK
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Work Capability Assessment WCA for ESA?

Made redundant 5 years ago, spent 4 years claiming JSA because my mortgage was insured for 3 years (with a PPI that payed up!) and because I believed I could work again.

Last March I realised I wasn't going to get another job after 400 applications 50 or so interviews and aged 53 with an Ataxia, so I claimed ESA and was transferred.

A year and a half later I've been invited to attend a Work Capability Assessment on June 14. it doesn't really bother me because it's obvious why I can't get another job (oh wait! :-)

The problem is, how do I explain the paradox of still being independent (albeit at great effort) with not being able to get a job?

I can't find any threads on this topic but I guess a lot of us have had a similar conversation with DWP?

3 Replies


I had a WCA in December and was declared "fit for work" after some very rudimentary tests (squeezing the doctors thumbs, and him stroking my legs to see if I had any sensation). So I was transferred from ESA to JSA.

In a way, I can understand their point-of-view (although I might not agree with it!). I am still quite independent. All this means is that I have to go through the motions of looking for work. I'm sure that it will come as no surprise to you, that I have had no luck in 6 months of trying. There are not many employers willing to give a 50-year-old a job (I was previously self-employed, but decided, unilaterally, that it might be a good idea to give it up - even if the DWP doctor's don't care about my future, I do).

There are even fewer employers who are willing to employ a 50-year-old with progressive medical condition.

So I wouldn't worry too much about how to explain the paradox. They just don't care. All that they are concerned about is whether you can carry out a simple physical task today.

It just means that you have to jump through a lot of completely unnecessary hoops in the future. But an uncaring society has elected an uncaring government who feel that this is a good thing.

Iain :)


Yes, I hear you Iain. However the good thing about being a paradox is that they can't pigeonhole you :-) (I always put words to that effect on their forms).


Just heard today, I'm in the 'work related activity group', not quite sure what to do next.


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