Skip to content

DWP Loses Appeal Against WCA Mental Health Ruling

December 4, 2013

Very good news today from Black Triangle:

The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling which found that the process used to decide whether hundreds of thousands of people are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) disadvantages people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and autism.

The original judgment, which was made public at an Upper Tribunal hearing in May this year, was the result of a Judicial Review brought by two anonymous claimants with mental health problems.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) immediately appealed against the judgment and the Judicial Review was put on hold. Now that the DWP has lost their appeal, the Judicial Review will continue. A final judgment is expected next year unless the DWP decide to take the case to the Supreme Court.

The charities Rethink Mental Illness, Mind and the National Autistic Society intervened in the case to provide evidence based on the experiences of their members and supporters.

The case centres on how evidence is gathered for the controversial Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the process used to determine whether someone is fit for work.

Under the current system, evidence from a professional such as a GP or social worker is expected to be provided by claimants themselves. There is no obligation for the DWP to collect this evidence, even on behalf of the most vulnerable, apart from in some rare cases.

Gathering evidence can be very challenging for people with mental health problems, learning disabilities or autism whose health or condition can make it hard for them to understand or navigate the complex processes involved in being assessed.

As a result, those who need support the most are frequently being assessed without this important evidence being taken into account.

In May it was ruled that the DWP must do more to ensure this sort of evidence is collected and taken into account. This means the current procedure for the WCA puts some groups at a substantial disadvantage.

In a joint statement Rethink Mental Illness, Mind and the National Autistic Society said:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for welfare campaigners and marks an important step in our fight for a fairer benefits system.

“The judges in the original ruling independently confirmed what our members and supporters have been saying for years – the system is unfair for some of the most vulnerable people in our society and is failing the very people it is meant to be supporting.

“It’s fantastic that the Court of Appeal has upheld this judgment and we hope changes will be made quickly to ensure the system becomes fairer and more accurate.

“In light of today’s ruling it would be irresponsible for the DWP to carry on using these flawed assessments as they are. They must halt the mass reassessment of people receiving incapacity benefit immediately, until the process is fixed.

“We hope that the DWP will now take these concerns seriously and look to address the problems with the system rather than appealing again.”  

Rethink Mental Illness

9 Comments leave one →
  1. December 4, 2013 2:11 pm

    Honestly? I’m thinking that this court ruling is all that separates us from the modern equivalent of Action T4. Look it up and see the parallels.

  2. December 4, 2013 3:23 pm

    The DWP are above the law hence the police have never involved themselves with any death however caused by the DWP OR ATOS and that is how it will stay

    COURT OR NO COURT OF APPEAL IDS is the person in charge and only he and he alone will tell how the DWP should be run and not a judge

    • January 27, 2014 1:57 pm

      Certainly how it works in a Dictatorship follow my orders do as I say not as I do, im the leader your the subject end of discussion if you protest your face severe consequences. But hey they was unelected, unmandated, IDs the biggest scrounger in Government and outside the Royal Household and Corporate World, he even gets £1.5million from European tax payers as a subsidy for his non existent farming.

      I dont follow well with this is your place know it and stick to it, we are your superiors we are the Government end of talk, I dont take well to that. My family fought Hitlers thugs in Poland and Germany, we fought the Bolshevik terror post WW2 and we fought tyranny in Palestine and terrorism in Syria. We of the family in England will be damned if we let that type of attitude prevail without causing a political ruckus.

  3. December 4, 2013 4:10 pm

    Reblogged this on serenityjack's Blog and commented:
    Good news indeed.

  4. December 5, 2013 2:24 pm

    Excellent news, and thanks for posting. Many of the clients who come into this London food bank are trying to cope with serious mental health issues, often combined with other chronic health conditions. The last thing they need is the stress of having to gather evidence themselves from GPs and social workers for ESA assessments. They’re experiencing an unbelievable level of hardship, and I think this is finally starting to enter public consciousness. These two anonymous claimants and their team are doing a wonderful job.

  5. September 15, 2015 11:07 am

    Reblogged this on paul8ar.

  6. September 15, 2015 11:36 am

    Reblogged this on lawrencerowntree.


  1. DWP Loses Appeal Against WCA Mental Health Ruling | WorldWright's …
  2. DWP Loses Appeal Against WCA Mental Health Ruling | Magherafelt District Advice Services Ltd

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: