Joint APPG on fluctuating conditions
16 December 2011
On 21 November a joint meeting was held between the All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) for MS, Parkinson’s, HIV and M.E.on how to make welfare reform fairer for people with fluctuating conditions.
Key points made were:
- The Work Capability Assessment does not work for those with fluctuating conditions, and descriptors do not take adequate account of the severity and frequency of symptoms.
- The WCA provides a snapshot of a condition, rather than a changing picture over time.
- Imposing a time limit on contribution based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is unfair as it penalises those who have paid into the system but still needed support and were not entitled to income-related ESA.
- Regular, periodic reviews of benefit awards mean that people constantly had to prove their condition to different individuals, from assessors to medical professionals.
- There often appears to be an assumption within government that people have an ill health episode and then recover, able to return to the work place.
- It must be ensured that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) descriptors are nothing like the WCA, and the strength of feeling about this was immense.
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