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Our welfare benefits adviser highlights issues of WCA

April 17, 2019

Our specialist welfare advisor, Sophie Knight, has advised a number of people on work capability assessments (WCA) and we are using her expertise to send Laura Pidcock MP, Shadow Minister for Labour, the experiences of people with M.E.

When speaking about work capability assessments Sophie tells us that "the lack of understanding of specific conditions as well as the inconsistencies at every stage of the process are the complaints we most often hear."

On Wednesday 24 April at 2.30pm the House of Commons will debate “Ten years of the work capability assessment in relation to employment support allowance and universal credit.” In our briefing some of the key issues we will raise are:

  • there is not enough information on the availability or criteria of home WCAs
  • assessors often do not have even basic knowledge of M.E.
  • the fluctuating nature of the condition and post-exertional malaise are not taken into account
  • misleading and sometimes incorrect information in the resulting report
  • evidence from specialist consultations and GPs not given much weight in the considerations.

We are keen to ensure that alongside these points, the MPs involved in the debate have access to experiences from people with M.E. If you have had a WCA and would like to tell us about your experience, please email our Policy Officer. We can also help you contact your MP and ask that they attend and speak about how the assessment is not fit for purpose for people with M.E.