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Work capability assessment (WCA) Survey

15 August 2012

The ‘Work Capability Assessment’ (WCA) is the testing system used to decide what support and out of work benefits disabled people can access. It is also used to move Deaf and disabled people off incapacity benefits and onto either ‘Employment and Support Allowance’ (ESA, if found only partly fit for work or unable to work at all) or ‘Jobseeker’s Allowance’ (JSA, if found fully fit for work).

  • There are about 11,000 WCA tests every week and the British Deaf Association is very concerned that the system:
  • is unfit for purpose (40% of the people tested appeal the initial DWP decision and 40% win their appeal costing £27 million in the last financial year);
  • is not delivering the central aim of reform (ensuring Deaf and disabled people are supported into work where possible); and
  • causes significant distress and anxiety for disabled people.

Recently, Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ and BBC ‘Panorama’ investigations have also suggested significant problems with the WCA system. These programmes can be viewed online at: www.disabilityrightsuk.org/wcaontv.htm

Professor Harrington is undertaking his third and final independent Review of the WCA and the British Deaf Association, an organisational member of the Disability Rights UK, would like your help to shape the Disability Rights UK's response. They have drafted a short survey and your answers and input could help improve the WCA. The questions from the Harrington Review form part of their survey. They also provide some extra questions to ensure they provide a response based on Deaf and disabled people’s experiences.
We hope you will complete the Disability Rights UK Survey who want to thank you for your involvement in advance. Their survey is available @ www.disabilityrightsuk.org/harringtonsurvey.htm.