Stephen Hepburn, Labour MP for Jarrow, tabled a question that asked the excretory of State for work and Pensions whether he had considered exempting people diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the work capability assessment.
In a written answer supplied on 16 March 2012, Employment Minister Chris Grayling replied:
As the WCA is an assessment of someone's functional capability, rather than their condition, it does not list exempted conditions.
This approach is based on the principle that a health condition or disability should not automatically be regarded as a barrier to work, and differs from previous approaches to assessment.
The Department recognises that disabilities and health conditions affect different people in different ways, and that it is important to treat people as individuals rather than label them because of their condition.
For those people whose condition is likely to qualify them for the Support Group, the health care professionals will, where possible, advise using the available paper-based evidence, and the claimant would not be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment.