Action for M.E. responds to WCA review year 2
16 September 2011
Action for M.E. has responded to the Year Two Call for Evidence as part of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) review being carried out by Professor Harrington. This is an independent review to be carried out for the first five years of WCA operation. Action for M.E. outlined their support for steps taken in the previous review, including:
- The steps taken to implement a facility to take into account the views of treating physicians in the assessment process.
- The commitment that every person who is given a Work Capability Assessment is given a copy of the medical report without having to ask for it.
Action for M.E. also highlighted outstanding issues that still needed to be addressed:
- Many GP practices have made the collective decision that they do not have the capacity to complete benefits reports, or else make a charge for this. This poses a problem as many people with M.E. do not have any alternative source of supporting medical information.
- Claimants are not routinely receiving copies of their WCA medical reports.
Action for M.E. outlined changes that would improve the WCA for people with M.E. and other fluctuating conditions:
- DWP statistics on claims broken down into specific conditions.
- The WCA put on hold for claimants with M.E. and other fluctuating conditions.
- Specialist M.E. training for all staff in the benefits system to understand the demands of the condition.
- Creating a greater role for advocacy organisations in ensuring that disabled people have the right support to access the care they need.