Possible New Descriptors for the Work Capability Assessment for ESA

Professor Harrington who has been carrying out consultations on the WCA for ESA asked a number of charities, including those dealing with mental health and chronic conditions (including ME, Arthritis, MS & Crohns) to produce a report after recognising that the assessment was not working well enough for those people these organisations represent.

Here is a Blog from Tom Pollard (Senior Policy & Campaigns Officer of Mind) with the information behind it all:

diaryofabenefitscrounger.bl...

The descriptors which have emerged from the reports can be found here: diaryofabenefitscrounger.bl...

They include those all important words for those with fluctuating conditions

" reliably, repeatedly and safely, within a reasonable amount of time" and also asks if

b. This is the case:

i. More than 75% of the time

ii. Between 50% and 75% of the time

iii. Between 20% and 50% of the time

It also looks like the descriptors are going to be tested:

"it would be the first time that the current descriptors had been properly tested, with the outcomes they suggest compared to the view of an expert panel on whether the applicant was actually fit for work. It would also be a good opportunity to test out some of our ideas for improving the descriptors. But we were wary of the project being driven by the DWP, with Mind’s name attached to it, and the possibility that we wouldn’t be comfortable with how the testing was designed or carried out.

Overall though, we felt it was too good an opportunity to turn down and since then we have been involved in intense and long meetings with the DWP and the other charities involved to try and finalise a common set of proposals that can be tested."

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