MPs visit Burnley on March 7 to test local opinion about move to Employment and Support Allowance

March 4, 2011

The House of Commons Works and Pensions Committee will hold an open meeting in Burnley on the afternoon of Monday, 7 March, 2011, on plans to move people currently claiming Incapacity Benefit to the new Employment and Support Allowance.

Burnley is one of the two areas where the process is being piloted before being rolled out throughout the UK later this year. This committee is keen to hear the views of local residents.

The meeting will be held between 2 and 4pm at Burnley Football Club, George Bray Suite, Harry Potts Way, Burnley BB10 4BX.

People currently claiming incapacity benefit will now undergo a work capability assessment (WCA) which will be used to decide whether they are fit for work or are eligible to continue to claim benefits which reflect their limited capacity to work.

The Committee of MPs is interested to hear your views, particularly if you have been through the assessment process. They want to learn about the following:

• Do you understand the process for moving people from incapacity benefit to ESA?

• If you are claiming Incapacity Benefit, have you been given enough information about the process for assessment?

• If you have been through the Work Capability Assessment, what was the experience like for you?

• Did you feel that the assessor understood your condition? Did they make you feel welcome and treat you as an individual?

• Should the WCA be changed? If so, in what ways?

• What support has Jobcentre Plus provided before and after the WCA?

• If you have been found fit for work, what support do you think you need to help you find and keep a job?

• Do you plan to appeal against the decision on your future benefit entitlement? If so, has this process been explained to you?

• What are the key lessons that should be learned from the Burnley trial before the national roll-out?

3 thoughts on “MPs visit Burnley on March 7 to test local opinion about move to Employment and Support Allowance”

  1. Is the Committee interested in all views or just those from Burnley?

    If the former – where do we send them?

  2. They seem to have done most of the legwork already, Firestormm.

    If you look at their website report on this meeting at

    you will see this quote from the committee chair, Anne Begg (herself a wheelchair-user):

    “…The Committee has heard many concerns, particularly from disabled people who are currently claiming incapacity benefit, about their experiences of this assessment. We are therefore keen to get out of Westminster and see how the pilot is working on the ground.

    The Government has an ambitious timetable to roll out these changes nationally, so it is important that we understand how well the pilots have really worked. We cannot afford to get this wrong.”

    But, if you still want to write, you should get your email in to the Clerk to the Committee asap


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