Ever since the current form of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) has existed, the Government have been reviewing it through independent reviewers and we’ve been submitting evidence to them about how it doesn’t work for blind and partially sighted people.
Now the Government have released their fifth (and last) independent review into the WCA and we have one last opportunity to show how it isn’t working.
Dr Paul Litchfield has been appointed for the second year in a row to independently review the WCA on behalf of the Government. Before Dr Litchfield , Professor Harrington undertook three yearly reviews of the assessment.
For four years therefore blind and partially sighted people have been highlighting what’s not working, yet it hasn’t been changed. So this year let's make sure our voice is heard!
What is the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and what’s wrong with it?
By April of last year, all disabled people claiming Employment Support Allowance (ESA) will have undergone a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to assess whether they are fit for work. But it is repeatedly failing to assess blind and partially sighted people fairly.
As our very own Andy White points out in a recent think piece, “In its first five years, nearly 9,000 blind and partially sighted claimants completed their initial WCA. 47 per cent were assessed as Fit for Work, thereby losing entitlement to Employment Support Allowance. Many of course appealed, and of those for whom we know the outcome, 36 per cent have had their appeal upheld. Most however are still awaiting an outcome.”
We’ll be submitting our views on the WCA to Dr Litchfield, but it’s important everyone submits theirs as well, especially if you’ve been through it and can share your first hand experience. We've got until 15 August.
PS. If you've got a really good story about your expereince, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We're always looking for case studies to show first hand experiences (we can anonymize it if you want)