15 September 2011
Campaign groups CarerWatch and the Broken of Britain have written a letter of support to Forward ME and other organisations involved in producing what they refer to as the “excellent” report ESA WCA review - Making it work for fluctuating conditions.
In particular CarerWatch and the Broken of Britain endorse the statement:
“Capability for work is not a clear cut issue. Although some people with long term conditions or disabilities can be completely fit for work or completely incapable of work many do not fit neatly in to either category. Those whose conditions fluctuate may move between the two extremes but more often will fall somewhere in the middle.”
CarerWatch and the Broken of Britain say, “Unfortunately the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG) in its current form with time limits, sanctions and mandatory work activity is not a safe place for people who will never be fully fit for work.
“It is necessary to design a group which is a safe and supportive environment for people who will never be fully fit for work where they can attempt to work if they want to, without fear of losing benefits or being timed out.
“These coercive conditions frighten people and stress makes all conditions worse. They also frighten people in the Support Group into abstaining from activity in case they are reallocated to the WRAG.
“It is a tragedy that what started as a constructive and supportive program has become such a threat because of the unnecessary time limits and sanctions.
“One simple change - removing the time limits and sanctions from the WRAG - would make it a suitable group for most people with disability.”