Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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the Work Capability assessment

jenny59jenny59 Member Posts: 1 Listener
Hello I have joined as i am mum of 2 adult sons with disabilities, one of whom was caught by the Work Capability assessment  and all his money stopped when he was desperately ill. I want to campaign to change the test back to doctors assessment and against all benefit cuts.

Replies

  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    jenny59,

    Hi Jenny, have you/your son challenged the decision? That would be by asking for a mandatory reconsideration first (where the DWP look at it again) and then appeal if necessary. A high proportion of appeals are successful, so it is well worth doing although it can be hard work - and of course he shouldn't have to do this at all. 

    To check what you might want to say in challenging the decision you could go through the work capability assessment test as it should be done (not how it is actually done by Maximus)! You can look at the questions here.

    In terms of campaigning, you might want to contact your MP. You could also think about whether the assessment breached the Equality Act in any way (was it accessible to your son in terms of both physical and cognitive ability?) It might be worth a complaint, and/or asking the EASS (Equality Advisory and Support Service) what they think.

     If your son lives in Scotland, the government there has already pledged to take tests for PIP and DLA away from private companies. However, the Scottish government won't have responsibility for ESA or universal credit, so the problem there will remain, and for this reason, if you do contact your MP you should make it clear you are talking about the Work Capability Assessment.

    Best of luck - we really do need this to change. I hope you are successful both in getting your son's decision changed and in achieving wider reform. With regard to your son, as well as challenging the decision you might think about complaining to Maximus/DWP, depending on the circumstances - it sounds as if there was a huge failure to protect your son's well being.

    Complaints can take a very long time (and are separate to challenging the decision about benefits), but can result in compensation for loss suffered and in recommendations for change (particularly if you escalate the complaint to the Independent Case Examiner, though you can only do this if you don't get a satisfactory response earlier on in the procedure).

    Will


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
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