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Labour Propose Three Crucial Changes To WCA

November 13, 2014

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

A Benefits and Work member has received an email this week from the central office of the Labour Party setting out ‘three crucial changes’ the party proposes to make to the way the work capability assessment (WCA) works. But how crucial are they really?

Our member emailed the Labour party on the subject of the WCA and forwarded us the email they eventually received in response.

Three problems
The email sets out what Labour see as the current problems with the WCA, whilst underlining that they believe that ‘a test will always be necessary’. The three main problems identified are:

That the WCA is ‘not integrated with employment support’ and so is not helping claimants back into work;

That the WCA ‘lacks credibility with disabled people, causing anxiety and stress’;

That the system is ‘riven with poor decision making’, leading to a ‘staggering 45 per cent of appeals against the test’ being upheld last year.

Critics may point out that not only did Labour devise and introduce the WCA, but also that the level of appeal success under Labour was very similar to what it is now.

Three changes
However, Labour have come up with ‘three crucial changes to the way that the test works’ that they will introduce if they get into power.

1 Labour will ‘start by transforming the way the WCA is designed to make it more effective at helping disabled people into work’. There are no details of what this transformation will involve, except that ‘disabled people would receive a copy of the assessor’s report of how their health condition may affect their ability to work, and information about the support that is available in their local area to help them’.

2 Labour will also ‘continue to produce an independent review of the WCA’. In addition, they will ‘ask the Office for Disability Issues to support an independent scrutiny group of disabled people to work together with the independent reviewer to assess whether the test is being conducted in a fair and transparent way’. Labour says it will only ‘commit to responding to the recommendations of this report’, there is no undertaking to actually act on them.

3 Labour will introduce ‘penalties for poor performance by assessors, measured both on the number of times decisions are overturned by DWP decision makers, and the number of times they are overturned on appeal.’

Critics may argue that: offering unspecified changes to the WCA amounts to very little; that a group of disabled people put forward by, for example Disability Rights UK, may not command universal support, especially if there is only a commitment to ‘respond’ to recommendations, and that penalties that are hidden behind a cloak of ‘commercial confidentiality’ – as they undoubtedly will be – will offer no reassurance whatsoever.

But would Labour’s proposals be an improvement on what we have already? Tell us what you think in the comments section below and we’ll ask the Labour party for their response.

The full text
The full text of the email is reproduced below:

With Labour, disabled people would receive a copy of the assessor’s report of how their health condition may affect their ability to work, and information about the support that is available in their local area to help them – a first vital step towards a more integrated system of support.

Labour believes that the Government must work to support people with disabilities fulfil their own ambitions to enter paid work. That’s also the best way to control the costs of social security within an overall cap on spending, and to make sure there is a system that supports those who need it, including those who may never be able to take up jobs.

When the last Labour Government introduced the Work Capability Assessment we wanted it to be part of a system that helped support more disabled people into work. We have always said that a test will always be necessary, but it is abundantly clear that at the moment the WCA is not working.

First, the test is not integrated with employment support, which may help explain why the Work Programme is performing so miserably for disabled people, with just five per cent helped into sustained jobs. Second, the test lacks credibility with disabled people, causing anxiety and stress. That is in part because of the third failure – a system that has been riven with poor decision making, causing hardship for disabled people, and huge costs to the public purse. Last year, a staggering 45 per cent of appeals against the test were upheld.

So a Labour government would make three crucial changes to the way that the test works. We will start by transforming the way the WCA is designed to make it more effective at helping disabled people into work. With Labour, disabled people would receive a copy of the assessor’s report of how their health condition may affect their ability to work, and information about the support that is available in their local area to help them – a first vital step towards a more integrated system of support.

Secondly, we would continue to produce an independent review of the WCA, and ask the Office for Disability Issues to support an independent scrutiny group of disabled people to work together with the independent reviewer to assess whether the test is being conducted in a fair and transparent way. We will commit to responding to the recommendations of this report.

Finally, a Labour government will go further in ensuring that the assessments get it right first time. We would make sure that in the new system there would be clear penalties for poor performance by assessors, measured both on the number of times decisions are overturned by DWP decision makers, and the number of times they are overturned on appeal.

Disabled people have suffered for too long in a system that has too often been unfair, ineffective, and non-transparent. Labour will build a Britain that works for everyday people, save the NHS, and turning decisively away from a Tory government run for the privileged few. 

23 Comments leave one →
  1. November 13, 2014 2:44 pm

    To take the strain off the system. would it not be possible to change the system so that those of us who have had our tribunal appeals and won, would not have to go through these ridiculous assessments again, which not only cost the taxpayer money for no good reason, but also put us through undue stress and anxiety, waiting for the brown envelope to pop through the door each day, wondering if we are going to be called for a needless assessment again.


    • November 13, 2014 2:57 pm

      exactly Sandra. It said on my report when i was put into the SG in 2011 that my multiple illnesses were disabling, degenerative, would not improve and work in the long term was unlikely, yet 19/12/14 weeks after a decision letter keeping me in the SG i had another ESa form. In the end i went into meltdown when they expected me to go for an assessment 3 days after surtgery on both eyes lasy year. I ended up in a/e after calling out the paramedics with a suspected heart attack. On explain it to my gp a week later she said it was the result of all the stress and anxiety caused by the repeated ESA forms, the expected assessment and surgery.. which took me 8 months to recover from. she was so angry and said she sees the fallout of the dwp/esa shennagins on a daily basis and is now treating people for stress and anxiety that never had these problems before, that just about says it all. There needs to be provision for those that have been told they are not expected to work.. why not let them retire and stop harassing and bullying them, thus making their already fragile health far worse


      • November 13, 2014 8:51 pm

        The way we are treated Jan is nothing short of bullying for the sake of bullying. Plus as 45 or so percent were upheld at tribunal, I’m sure the taxpayer would agree that the government are just wasting their money.


  2. Sara White permalink
    November 13, 2014 3:11 pm

    I am not reassured in any way by this. What they cannot understand is that disabled have been so badly treated by this govt they have lost all confidence in the wca. Also pushing peopke back to work is all very well as long as the support is there. I am visually impaired and have been trying to get on a course and do volumtary work but the enlargement software I need is not available and neither are the courses. Also they have to accept that some people cannot work and that driving them to do so will only make their health conditions and stress worse.


    • November 13, 2014 7:05 pm

      my thoughs also Sara, what is the point of harassing and bullying someone when they cannot work. It seems all about pushing people into work.. but for those that cannot, please leave them alone to get on with their lives as best they can


  3. dave nichols permalink
    November 13, 2014 3:22 pm

    Firstly what a government considers capable to work will differ from what an employer considers capable.
    Secondly, unless disabled people themselves are involved in the assessment decision it will be treated as a tool of oppression.
    Lastly, disability is not a medical issue.


    • November 13, 2014 6:17 pm

      if disability isn’t a medical issue what is it then? i trained as a nurse years ago. throughout my life Ive looked after people with disabilities. an illness is a disability, a bad back, amputation,heart probs,and a load of other ailments come under the disability umbrella and are treated by GP’s, hospital specialists etc… so i would like to hear why you think disabilities are not a medical issue.


  4. MICKGILL permalink
    November 13, 2014 3:50 pm

    People who were awarded DLA for life or indefinitely and are over the age of 50 should not be tested , this would ease the waiting list that now exist for those applying for pip , in fact pip just be dropped it is another white elephant that is not working and costing more than it is worth .


    • anon permalink
      November 13, 2014 7:08 pm

      Anyone with a degenerative and/or permanent condition who has been signed off as unfit for work by the doctors treating them, should not have to face the cruel absurdity of a WCA, but be placed directly in the support group – as many disability charities are now campaigning for.

      And should they be 50 or over, they should be placed directly on their state retirement pension with no further harrassment. The current moving of goalposts over our pensions for which many have paid in for decades, is not only fraudulent, but directly discriminates against those of us who have no realistic hope of seeing 70 and ever receiving a penny.

      As for those with short-term conditions, the REASON that doctors sign such patients off work, is that so they can concentrate on their treatment and maximise their chances of recovery. The body NEEDS rest to heal. ‘Work related activity’ is NOT therapy, and how people in this situation spend their time should be decided with the advice of their doctors, and not dictated low-level clerical workers from the DWP. The time work-related activity is when a person has RECOVERED enough that THEIR DOCTORS think they are ready to start looking for work. Common sense suggests that they should then be allowed to do so at a gentler pace, with LESS pressure and APPROPRIATE support (for example proper vocational guidance, and access to funding for quality training of THEIR CHOICE), rather than the punishing jobcentre regime of conditionality and sanctions.

      As for WCAs they should be scrapped as a vindictive and useless scam that funnels billions of public funds into the bottomless pit of disreputable companies to try to vexatiouslyoverturn the legitimate diagnoses and recommendations of doctors, causing nothing but misery and suffering in the process.

      Finally, Labour needs to pledge that there should be NO sanctions and NO workfare for any individual with a disability or significant physical or mental health condition — and that this must include those on JSA as well as ESA recipients. This is just common decency and as such should be non-negotiable.


    • sandi64 permalink
      November 13, 2014 8:56 pm

      I agree with you totally. As for the new PIP, lots of people stand to lose their cars because of the new 20 metre rule. Lots of these people do work and rely on their cars to get to work, so taking them away will make them unemployed. It’s ridiculous.


  5. david pearce permalink
    November 13, 2014 3:56 pm

    “Labour will ‘start by transforming the way the WCA is designed to make it more effective at helping disabled people into work’.” So NOT better at detecting who is able v who is not able to work. Not better at picking out who has a condition which will never get better (hence not needing regular reassessments. But it WILL HELP force people back into work???
    Personally I would have said ‘transform the way the WCA is designed to make it more efficient in assessing the ability of people AND helping those able to, into work. While ensuring ongoing support to those unable to.


    • November 13, 2014 7:21 pm

      ” better at detecting who is able v who is not able to work.”, a very good point David. it should be about helping those that can possibly work, and leaving those alone that cannot, why harass and bully people .. often to the grave


  6. Jeffery Davies permalink
    November 13, 2014 3:58 pm

    Dont make me laugh it would be very funny wouldn’t it many many many dies many many many abused by this system yet they talk about making or changing a few things they aint listening they been told time and time again that it wasn’t fit for perpose yet they still want to rearange it perhaps they want more to toddle off this earth but when wasnt the last way possible to bring back were a real doctor sais so thats not hard to do is it but rearranging something that not fit for perpose isnt going to help at all but it would be better to all to tell you outright begone we dont want you then atleast you now they realy didn’t care one bit


  7. Phil The Folk permalink
    November 13, 2014 5:06 pm

    There should not be any medicals required at all!! We have a perfectly good and expensive GP system in this country, which is already paid for by the taxpayers. GP’s are the only ones best qualified to judge if someone should be working, or not. I have been fighting this since 1995 when declared fit for work whilst in crisis. That evil Tory Peter Lilley introduced medicals using BOGUS doctors in 1994. I complained to the Sec of State in 2007 that if they persue this policy it will cause more deaths amongst those unable to cope with the stress of it, and I wasn’t wrong in that was I. The whole thing is a con and just a vehilce to manipulate the unemployment figures by Government.


  8. November 13, 2014 6:32 pm

    The disabled and chronic sick face a life on this cruel benefits regime,
    by the loss totally to many women born from 1953 and men born from 1951
    from the flat rate pension

    Labour’s Mr Balls has said if Labour win in 2015, Labour will continue Tory spending cuts (saying now want to cut even more billions off welfare spending) and be even harder on welfare reform than the Tories.

    Never having gained any disabled / chronic sick benefit, denied state pension payout this year, joining the 530,000 women since 2013, unable to work no Jobseekers as liable for erratic benefit sanctions and the slavery of Workfare, even when disabled.

    The Greens seem reluctant to make public something which is in their 2015 manifesto pledge that solves all this anxiety and loss of food and fuel money:

    – universal Citizen Income, automatic to each citizen and non-withdrawable
    to the amount of the basic tax allowance

    – Bettered State Pension for all, leaving none without a full state pension
    to even more than the above Citizen Income, to each citizen.

    And a supplement on each of these for someone living alone and for the disabled.

    No political parties offers back the old Award for Life for the disabled / chronic sick that worked so well all the years of the welfare state since 1945.

    Instead the national debt has risen not because of benefit, but because of billions wasted on benefits admin just to leave us to starve.


  9. November 13, 2014 7:29 pm

    Reblogged this on sdbast.


  10. November 13, 2014 11:51 pm

    They don’t mention that almost half of all ESA claims are related to mental illness. Many people with common mental health conditions are waiting for months to get treatment, in some areas the wait is a year or more, and most get no help at all. At present, people are being mandated onto the work programme but not actually receiving any therapy, support or help with their conditions. How can they be expected to actively seek work when they’re not managing their illnesses on a day to day basis? It’s completely unreasonable to send people too scared to leave their house, or with social phobia, etc, to attend groups and placements miles from home under the threat of being sanctioned if they don’t attend. The assessment was judged to discriminate against people with mental illness, so would like to know if they plan to obtain medical evidence prior to face-to-face assessments to avoid unnecessary distress, and if assessments will be carried out by people trained specifically in mental health care? Would Labour continue to make the work programme mandatory for sick, disabled and mentally ill people? Will they scrap sanctions?

    I would like to know, if Labour are intending to send out information about support in their local area would this only be employment related? Would there be any conditions attached with this information? Is it a recommendation or mandatory to follow it up?

    I also think they should completely do away with the tick boxes and the inhumane points system which totally fails to capture significant barriers to work. Human beings and their illnesses are unique and complex and don’t fit in a limited number of boxes. Any test should be carried out by a trained health care professional, doctor, psychologist and they should be able apply their medical experience, humanity and common sense in relation to each individual and their needs. Doctors should make the final decision and not DWP clerks with their rubber stamps. Labour would be trusted more if they promised to scrap it instead of tinkering with this toxic test.


  11. Jeanette Traynor permalink
    November 14, 2014 2:22 pm

    I do not feel Labour’s ideas go far enough whatsoever. The problem is that Assessors are pressured into finding people fit for work, then they use ridiculous reasons to find that a person does not suffer from health conditions and is therefore capable of work. For example, if you can look at them, speak to them, use a phone, understand their questions and answer them, then you cannot be suffering from depression. Short of being catatonic, you will be found fit for work. The same goes with physical disabilities. Then there is the problem of Assessors telling outright lies about the person at the Assessment. This is a common theme with claimants saying the Assessors Report bears no resemblance to their health and what happened on the day. Holding Assessors to account may help, but only if they do and we see that they do. I doubt it. I think Labour will only tinker with the WCA to show willing – it suits them to keep the system. Further, the Assessor will identify what sources of help are available to the claimant to help them get back to work? That’s all well and good if the claimant has the resources and capacity to seek the help and the helping agencies also have the resources and capacity to help all these people. Is Labour going to fund this or just put the onus back on the sick or disabled claimant to take action. What a crock – nothing is going to change – shame on Labour.


    • November 14, 2014 4:39 pm

      I was found fit for work, after being in the Support Group for 2 years based on my fibromyalgia, arthritis, ibs, carpel tunnel, eye disease and random other, on the assumption, and i quote ” the available evidence suggests the client is likely to be able to raise an arm as if to a top pocket, pick up and move a 0.5 litre carton of liquid, press a button and turn book pages”
      Obviously the ESa form i returned along with 20 odd pages of appointments, supporting info, including a daily diary, were totally ignored.
      This decision was made on 12.7.13 after I had to pay £14 for a GP letter explaining exactly why i could not attend an assessment 3 days after drastic surgery on both eyes, surgery was on 5.7.13 and the assessment was to be 8.7.13. My GP wrote a very damning letter to them in support of why i could not attend, the fact i do not recover well from surgery and general anaesthetic, ( it took over a year and i still get scar and eye pain) i would be extremely bruised and swollen and not able to see.
      A few days prior to this i had to call out the paramedics and was sent to a/e with a suspected heart attack, thankfully “all” it was according to my gp was stress and anxiety, caused by the repeated forms i get every 6 months, harassment from Atos to attend when i knew i could not, the refusal to do a home assessment and the worry of surgery
      It’s not just the assessments, it’s the many issues including the stress and anxiety this repeated harassment and bullying. causes, and indeed anyone with mental health issues can be pushed to their very limits and beyond,
      Why when someone id told their multiple illnesses are disabling, degenerative and will not improve and work on the long term is unlikely are we repeatedly sent forms and expected to attend assessments, often miles away.
      I would suggest anyone having gone through this creul heartless system do a SAR request and see for them selves exactly what the paperwork says, the lies told and better arm themselves for the next time.. for you can be sure there will be one


  12. Steven Fogg permalink
    November 20, 2014 11:53 pm

    Absolutely nothing in there for people like me. I have a rare genetic condition,virtually impossible to diagnose unless you’re an expert,been misdiagnosed,even by specialists,many times,until I saw an expert. No chance that WCA can work for me. My condition is chronic,lifelong and progressive. Discharged from hospital simply because there’s no treatment. Looks like more miery under Labour,constant assessments,appeals etc,all the while on lowered rates.Might as well just end it now and save the wasted time.


  13. November 21, 2014 12:27 am

    Its not even close to being enough. There HAS to be recognition that some people suffer disabilities that preclude them from EVER working. Yearly medicals for lifetime disabilities are simply NOT ACCEPTABLE. Its demeaning, stressful, and accelerates illness. Legs don’t grow back, brains don’t repair themselves, Parkinsons doesn’t just disappear. There must be a mechanism to recognise lifetime disabilities with lifetime benefit awards. The WRAG and even the support group both suppose a person works toward employment, even with a lifetime disability. Its a national scandal, and an utter disgrace.


  14. Alison Webster permalink
    November 21, 2014 12:29 am

    Like the commentator above I have rare incurable and progressive condition not recognised by Llima so invariably get assessed by unqualified and unsuitable person in wrong category leading to all kinds of problems ie enduring wrag, making illness worse until reconsideration/appeal which took me 2 years of research into the condition. At the first assessment Id just been diagnosed and knew little of it so was unable even at appeal to justify my disability or comment as to my future plans (I didn’t know if I had a future then) Those of us in this position endure enough hardship obtaining diagnosis and seeking treatment (in my case no effective treatment is available). Uk gov recognise these problems in Eu Rare Diseases Strategy and NICE Guidelines but DWP fail to take them into account when persisting in regular reassessments and 3 weekly checks by JCP or work provider even when I am in support group. Being asked every 3 weeks if I am getting better does nothing to help me come to terms with having a condition which will never improve causing intense stress and making the illness a whole lot worse than it need be. The biopsychosocial model which the wca is based upon takes little or no account of medical treatments or lack of them and does not recognise that there are many sick and disabled people who have had long and varied careers and from whom the only barrier to work is their illness and disability. We do not need to be constantly assesses and reminded of our inadequacies when we are already grieving for our lost lives . WCA needs dropped and a new and fair way of assessing found


  15. john permalink
    November 21, 2014 6:45 am

    while it is commendable for someone to try and fix something, it may sound unusual but they have to know what they are repairing. Whatever is done, they have to realise what someone’s needs actually are.. Take for example what someone requires each week. Whilst it is virtually impossible to predict to the penny what anyone actually needs, a rough guide could be assessed by looking at the old IB payment, which would have been around £103 plus the extra £5 something mark. What has changed is esa wrag is lower, currently £92, support rmains the same, and one if the worst is being shunted into jsa when it is obvious they have condtion(s). The other worst scenario is when others are or going to lose their dla/pip.

    Best way to look at it is assessing what is reasonable as the dwp do say the law says you need £72, £92 or £102 to live on, and most people would say it’s not quite enough, some may say it is quite short of what is manageable.

    Everyone knows £72.40 jsa is pityful and non manageable given the circumstances. One thing for sure is health is going to suffer on food intake alone and below nutritional intake.
    One person’s food intake varies so the prices will fluctuate person to person and i would say a minumum of £35 food is required, a working person on 40 hours a week needs £45+
    And no way that can be achieved on jsa.

    If the £72.40 is analysed, it would be safe to assume each week it is split eg, gas £12, electric £8, water £10, food £23, telephone £6, house insurance £4, tv licence £4, transport/fares £5

    As it is very difficult to live on that amount for a fit person, the point is how would it fare on a person who has been shunted onto jsa as it is known that people with conditions and in pain have scored zero points.

    So, when someone has been shunted onto jsa, they have lost a lot of money. And when they were spending some money on items that assisted with their condition, they cannot do that anymore now when shunted onto jsa. And if anything, people who have been placed in wrag have also lost £10 at least, so if they depended on the full amount what they were getting before, they are losing out as it would be more likely they would have been spending more on transport and heating.

    My point is thus. While it can be ascertained that someone needs £102, it will take around 16 hours at nmw to achieve that. BUT what is not taken into account is could that person actually do 16, whether fluctuating or permanent conditions. Also, if someone managed to grin and bear pain, how will that 16 hrs be divided? two times 8 hours, 4 times four hours. and how will they get there? if transport comes into the equation, depending how far, possibly £10 could be spent and they find themselves having the need to find another 2 hours to cover the cost to keep the £102 intact.

    The other downside to this is that it will push someone over the housing benefit and council tax threshold. It would seem to be fruitless to work another hour to recoup the lost CT benefit cos that will make them lose even more, as the whole point of the exercise is to get them off benefits altogether ultimately by working more.

    So if someone could somehow manage 16 hours at a push will now find themselves having to work 19…and so on. And if their condition gets worse, what then? The only choice they would have is to reclaim esa after 6 months or end their employment on health grounds, reclaim jsa but will get penalised by the new waiting times, especially if on universal cred as they have to wait a month to five weeks before payment.

    What other options are left for someone? A person could work 8 hours a week if they felt up to it, but the problem with that is they are parked on jsa which seems to contradict getting people onto a reasonable level. If someone did work 8 hours at nmw, that works out at £72.40 minus £52 plus the £5 they are allowed to earn. So they get £77.40 overall, but as little things such as transport if it is a single shift costing £5, so they end up with £72.40 anyway (does work pay in this example?) To the gov it does because it is not them who’s paying all of the £77. All the gov will save is the earnings. Another quirk would be that a person who would be working 8 hours is likely to require an extra food intake for that day and may find themselves spending £3 – £4 during that day and ultimately be earning £68 or £69, less than they were in the first place.

    If they are only capable of doing 8 hours or even 10 or 12, that means it is not probable to achieve the £102 they were getting before and WILL be parked on jsa. And there will be a point that the job centre will get involved in pressurising people who can only do 8 hrs to do 16 or more to get them off their books.

    And not forgetting someone can fail a wca with 10 points or even 12 which is a very strong indicator of someone’s condition.

    When housing benefit is involved, that complicates things quite a bit. mayve someone who can only do 14 may find themselves doing 16, and guess what? they’re off the dwp’s books.
    So they are going to be parked on either jsa or lower level earnings than what they need.
    Unless the 16 hours actually pays £10 an hour which is £160 minus a small amount of ni plus any losses such as HB/CT which could leave someone with around £110 net depending what they spend on transport&extra food intake. It would be the same for someone earning £8, there isn’t much difference between the two.

    At the end of the day, some are going to be parked on jsa and even esa wrag. And a lot of people’s conditions are not going to disappear with a magic sponge.
    If someone has a condition and deliverately strains themselves to do 30+ hours a week and makes their condition worse, that is their choice, their responsibility and their look out. And that ideology must not spread across the board as the norm.

    If someone can do some hours without making themselves worse, fine. if someone can do some hours and the condition is the same… Or is it a case of putting up with pain&discomfort as they have been backed into a corner they are not going to get out of?

    Otherwise all people would like is £107 as a guide at the end. Then again, some people who happen to live ten miles from a town could need a little bit more to cover their transport cost or otherwise limit themselves.

    Would it be too radical if they allowed someone on wrag to work and gave the earning deducted from their £92. Then again dwp rules say 16 hours is off the books and 16 hrs at nmw surpasses the esa amount.

    Which leaves one last question. When people with conditions who gave been shunted into full jsa and maybe limited in what they could do, why are they on jsa? When people suffer discomfort&pain and score zero points, surely labour should be asking the question WHY is this?

    If the dwp take into account the little tasks they could do at home, just because someone could do say 3 hours in a day things like a bit of hoovering, a spot of cleaning and other things, how do they calculate that if someone can do 3 hours at home can do 21 a week.
    If someone can do 3 hours or 4 during the course of the day, that does not mean they can do an extra 2 or 3 for someone else, meaning an extra 14-21 hours a week elsewhere.
    Then again they take into account as you all know other tasks such as having the cheek going to the shop for food and struggling with condition to get there because if they don’t go, nobody else is going to do it for them, and if they don’t go to the shop, even if someone doesn’t fancy going out because of their condition and stressed, end up going because they will starve if they don’t. And they get penalised in wca for doing so.

    Just because someone may manage to go to the shop on one day, does not mean they can do it twice or three times a day. or even everyday.

    A typical question during wca is how many times do you go to the shop? If the answer is twice a week, it has been known they put down in the report ‘goes out most days’

    Some people have been scared to do their front lawns in case the dwp catches them, and leave them overgrow and then the neighbours and council starts moaning that the street looks untidy. Then again, it has been known for citizens advice to make a comment such as don’y tell dwp you clean your windows (even if done once every 3 months and taking their time to do it). Obviously there is a difference between mowing a small lawn once a fortnight and a large field. Some people like to keep things tidy and have some pride. But if dwp start penalising people for having some pride in their home. And ask a question during wca like can you wipe up a drop of spilt milk on the work top? someone could well say yes, but a;so tells wca that mopping the floor is a bugga to do once a week or fortnight even if it plays havoc, they will score against the claimant even if someone can do something in pain or discomfort, And when citizens advise mentiion to someone to leave their home go to rack and ruin in the event of little questions such as ‘if i don’t do it, who will?’

    Someone said light gardening with flowers is therapeutic for some conditions, creates a sense of wellbeing. Then again, it will be used against someone now and no wonder people are in fear. And the sublime is if someone can walk from their living room to the kitchen to make a cuppa, they are fit for work.

    I;m not so sure how sustainability can be achieved through the workprogramme for esa wrag, they are struggling to get fit people off their books never mind anybody else.
    If someone has a condition and has not got any better after a couple of years, they are not.
    That’s the bottom line. And the dwp are willing to push as far as they can.

    It doesn’t matter so much about a points system, just how far are they going to push them when they are discounting pain. If a normal fit person goes to the shop with no pain, but when a person with a condition goes to the shop with pain, they are penalised because they accomplished the task by going there. How odd


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