Title: Work Capability Assessment analysis

Author: Sue Keil, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2015

Employment Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for disabled people, who are not working. In order to determine eligibility for ESA, a person must undergo a Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

RNIB have conducted an analysis of DWP data released under a freedom of information request on the outcomes for blind and partially sighted people undergoing a Work Capability Assessment (WCA). We believe that in its current form, the WCA, which determines a person's eligibility for Employment Support Allowance, discriminates against blind and partially sighted people and wastes public money on avoidable appeals.

Too many blind and partially sighted people are losing entitlement to ESA, and are being told that they are now job seekers or must attend 'work-related activities', for example the Work Programme, to try to improve their employability.

Although many blind and partially sighted claimants have appealed their initial Fit for Work decision, most are still awaiting an outcome. Our research shows however that 61 per cent of those who received a response have had their appeal upheld.