23rd November 2010
IncomeMAX welcome the fact that the Government has accepted Professor Harrington's conclusions on the Work Capability Assessment and that they will implement the report's recommendations in full.
The Work Capability Assessment, which is used to assess eligibility for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) is not that different from the tests that were used for Incapacity Benefit.
Over the years, both ESA and Incapacity Benefit claimants have faced what has amounted to a 'one size fits all' score-based approach to assessing their condition and it is no surprise that the report concludes that changes need to be made.
There has always been a sense of unfairness about the Incapacity/ESA assessment process, in particular because of the emphasis placed on the 'independent medical assessment'. Over the years, I have come across many, many claimants that felt the medical did not accurately portray their health condition(s) and capabilities. As a result, many claimants successfully challenged the decisions that were made, but not without first going through a long, drawn out appeal process.
IncomeMAX look forward to seeing how the Harrington proposals will be implemented, and hope that the changes will lead to a more modern, supportive and fairer assessment process for ESA claimants.
Links to Professor Harrington's report can be found below:
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