Fitness to work tests criticised in the media – have your say
21 August 2012
We want to make sure the views of people with Parkinson's are represented in the review.
Last week, it was
widely reported that a Government watchdog has found weaknesses
in the current contract between the Department for Work and
Pensions and Atos.
Atos are the private contractor who perform 'fitness to work'
tests or work capability assessments.
In the BBC News article about
this they mentioned our campaigning work
to make the tests better for people with progressive conditions
Tom Greatrex MP also talked to the
BBC about problems with the fitness to work tests.
Employment and Support Allowance
(ESA) is the benefit which supports those currently unable to
work because of illness or disability. It has replaced Incapacity
Benefit for many people.
Applying for ESA involves a
Work Capability Assessment to judge eligibility for the benefit
and fitness to work.Lots of people are concerned about the way
these fitness to work tests are carried out as well as the content
of the tests themselves.
People with Parkinson's tell us that
the assessments are too quick and too simple for a complex
condition like Parkinson's. This means they can fail to take
into account where you may have good days, bad days and periods in
the day where it is very difficult to do anything, let alone
Sharing your views
Have you applied for, or been assessed for, Employment Support
Allowance (ESA) this year?
Perhaps you have applied in the past and have had a
number of assessments to judge whether you were still eligible
for the benefit. We're calling on anyone with Parkinson's to tell
us your views and recent experiences for an important review.
Interested to hear from you
For example: Were communications clear? How was the face to face
assessment? Did all your medical evidence get taken into
The review team are really interested to hear from people who
may have had more than 1 assessment so they can judge whether
things are improving for people.
We want to make sure the views of people with Parkinson's are
represented in the review. The Work Capability Assessment
Consultation runs until 7 September 2012.
There are some different ways you can take part: