Scope comment on Work Capability Assessment pilots
31 March 2011
As the Government’s pilot of its new fit-for-work test comes to an end and its roll out across the country begins, Richard Hawkes, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said:
“With the Government’s Work Capability Assessment pilots coming to an end, we will now see up to 10,000 people being assessed for their fitness to work every week. But of the thousands that have been found fit to work so far, the crucial test for Ministers is how many of them have succeeded in getting a job?
“Disabled people who have been out of work for a long time, or perhaps have never worked, need support, often from a specialist, to help them find suitable jobs. The Government’s fitness for work test provides no information on the barriers that prevent individuals’ moving into work, making it highly likely that they end up on the wrong benefit and unable to access to help they need. The high number of successful appeals against WCA decisions further underlines its inadequacy.
“If Government is serious about getting disabled people into work, and not just off Incapacity Benefit, they need to introduce an assessment that’s fit for purpose, that is one that assesses people’s needs accurately and holistically, and enables people to access the right support, so they can get the job they want and deserve.”