ESA: WCA descriptor review – help wanted

I am currently involved with some further work on the report for Professor Harrington on fluctuating medical conditions. The aim is to improve the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) descriptors that currently form part of the Employment and Support Allowance assessment in relation to fluctuating conditions such as ME/CFS.

Our report has also recommended that a new descriptor covering fatigue and/or pain should be added to the current WCA list.

In order to strengthen the case for a new descriptor covering fatigue – as it forms a key part of the underlying disease process in a number of fluctuating conditions such as ME/CFS, MS and HIV/AIDS – I need some more personal evidence from people with ME/CFS.

This should be in the form of a short – no more than 200 words – personal description of how the various aspects of on-going debilitating fatigue, as it applies to ME/CFS, impacts on a person’s capacity to carry out meaningful regular work.

The description could include the effect of pre-existing fatigue levels of travelling to work, trying to sustain all aspects of work-related activity during the day on a regular basis when you are trying to cope with fatigue/fatiguability, and the way in which exacerbating fatigue can then affect other ME/CFS symptoms. The description must focus on fatigue (which this descriptor is going to assess) and not stray into other symptoms that may already be covered by another descriptor.

This has to be a genuine personal account. You will be identified in the report by a first name or pseudonym.

If you have applied for ESA and not scored sufficient points using the existing descriptors please add this information as an additional short paragraph.

Replies can be sent via

I need to have this information during the next seven days.

Thank you

Dr Charles Shepherd
Medical Adviser, The ME Association


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