DWP press release claims that the ESA Fitness to work assessment ‘continues to be improved’

February 13, 2011


DWP press release: Fitness for work assessment continues to be improved.

This new information from the DWP is particularly important for people with ME/CFS who are currently receiving Incapacity Benefit (ICB) and are going to be re-assessed for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) eligibility this year.

Despite the reassuring statement from the DWP, some of the changes to the Working Capability Descriptors in the Statutory Instrument (= seconday legislation) will probably make it even more difficult for people with ME/CFS to successfully claim ESA.

Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the independent review of WCA last year, has asked Dr Charles Shepherd from the MEA to join a working group that is currently preparing a report on descriptors that apply to fluctuating conditions such as ME/CFS. Dr Shepherd has drawn the attention of the group to this announcement.

More information on Professor Harrington's fluctuating conditions group can be found here: https://meassociation.org.uk/?p=4490

The MEA will be commenting further in due course.

Summary of Statutory Instrument: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/228/made

Pdf of Statutory Instrument: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/228/made/data.pdf</a>

2 thoughts on “DWP press release claims that the ESA Fitness to work assessment ‘continues to be improved’”

  1. The problem isn’t just the descriptors, it’s the doctors that are applying (or failing to apply) them.
    The DWP and their employer – Atos Origin – don’t allow these doctors to think about ME as a relapsing neuro-immune illness. They also refuse to take any notice of recent biomedical findings /discoveries.
    Therefore, real doctors, who are true to the GMC code, refuse to do this work.
    The ones that do, prostitute themselves and knowingly fail to use appropriate independent professional judgement when assessing patients. As such they are a disgrace to their profession and should be “struck off”.

  2. Just had my ‘medical assessment’ today. The lady confessed to knowing only a little about my illness.

    I will perhaps post more later, but I have had three assessments following this latest relapse – the DWP pay only my NI stamp – I have a private disability pension.

    From what I saw though, nothing had changed in regards to structure or method.

    Think I shall get a job at ATOS and overhaul the system myself.

    And quite how they could be over an hour behind when my appointment was and 9.45 am – is quite beyond me…

    Hey, Dio this reference to ‘neuro-immune’ disease, is inspired by WPI, yes?

    I do wish people wouldn’t use a term that means nothing in the eyes of the medical profession per se.

    But if it does then perhaps you could let me know?

    Only I have asked on several occasions and nobody has been able to answer the question, what is ‘neuro-immune’ disease?

    I’m not having a poke – it is a legitimate concern.

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