Government warned not to repeat Work Capability Assessment mistakes
22 February 2012
MPs have warned the Government not to repeat the
mistakes of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) when
Personal Independence Payments (PIP) in 2013.
These conclusions come from a
new report, published on Monday 20 February 2012 by the
Work and Pensions Select Committee.
The report recommends that the PIP assessment takes into the
account the needs of disabled people and those with long-term
health conditions, like Parkinson's, to
make sure they get the benefits they need.
We welcome this report, and we hope this will avoid people with Parkinson's having to undergo repeated and potentially stressful re-assessments.
The Government want PIP to replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for
working-age claimants in 2013.
A welcome change
We welcome this report, in particular the recommendation that
the frequency of reassessments should be flexible for certain
We hope this will avoid people with Parkinson's having to
undergo repeated and potentially stressful re-assessments, as many
have with Employment and Support
The report also recommends a more flexible approach to
assessments, allowing claimants to describe the impact their
disability or long-term health condition has on their day-to-day
lives. This should help people with Parkinson's explain the complex
and fluctuating nature of their condition.
At the moment the company who carries out the work capability
assessments do not face a penalty if it is proved (by an appeal)
their initial assessment was incorrect.
The committee have, therefore, recommended that whoever wins the
contract to carry out PIP assessments should only be paid if
they get them right first time.
What happens now?
This report comes at a time when the Government has the
opportunity to take on the Committee's recommendations, as part of
the ongoing PIP consultation. We will be making a submission
to this consultation.
We hope these recommendations will be taken into consideration
and reflected in future Government policy. Then people with
Parkinson's can get fairer assessments for these vital
benefits and are able to receive the right financial