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Say your bit! Government Consultation on Work Capability Assessment
Last week the DWP launched a consultation on changes to the Work Capability Assessment. This is something that concerns almost everyone in our community. We saw this in the discussions immediately after the announcement. There is of course scepticism about changing the already complex benefits system. If it will benefit disabled people like the government says.
Before I go further, I want to try and assure anyone who is worried. The government’s own timeline for any change states that the earliest they would come into effect is 2025. After the next general election, where much can change. WCA itself due to be abolished in 2026/2027 at the earliest.
The following is a statement from James Taylor, Scope’s Executive Director of Strategy, Impact and Social Change:
"We're worried these proposals will end up forcing huge numbers of disabled people to look for work when they aren't well enough, making them more ill. If they don't meet strict conditions, they'll have their benefits stopped. In the grips of a cost-of-living crisis this could be catastrophic.
"It's especially worrying that the government is looking at removing the safety net for people who are at risk to themselves or others by engaging with work.
"Is this about improving employment outcomes for disabled people, or is this about reducing benefit spend?
"There's no reason why more tailored, flexible employment support could not be offered to all disabled people on a voluntary basis."
Responding to the consultation
All information about the consultation can be found here on the gov.uk site.
At the bottom of the page is a document explaining the consultation, the reasons behind it, the questions and the intentions behind the questions. It is recommended that you read the document before responding to the consultation. It has several different accessible formats, including large print, audio and British Sign Language.
You can respond to the survey in 3 different ways
- Responding online
- Emailing your responses to [email protected]
- Writing your response to the address detailed under "Ways to Respond" here
Do not provide any personal details such as your name or address or any other details that could identify you when replying to the consultation.
Let your voice be heardWe hope everyone here will respond to the consultation. We'd also love to hear your thoughts about the proposals in the consultation, if you feel comfortable doing so. We are mindful that this is a topic that brings up strong emotions and opinions. Please try to avoid getting into debates about other's thoughts.
Finally, even if you don't feel like sharing here I hope you share your thoughts with the consultation. Hopefully, the more they hear from disabled people the more they reconsider.
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Opinions are my own, such as mashed potato being bad.
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