Work Capability Assessment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 9th February 2011.

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Photo of Stephen Lloyd Stephen Lloyd Liberal Democrat, Eastbourne

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received on his Department's review of the work capability assessment published in March 2010 from (a) the Social Security Advisory Committee, (b) charities and (c) other organisations; what the content was of such representations; what plans he has to implement the findings of the review; and what the relationship is between such plans and his plans for implementation of the findings of the Harrington Review.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department-led Review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) was published on 29 March 2010. It proposed a number of changes to the WCA, including expanding the Support Group for claimants with severe disability due to a mental health condition and making greater provision for individuals awaiting or between courses of chemotherapy.

Following discussions with the Department, the Social Security Advisory Committee consulted with a wide range of disability organisations on the changes and issued a report on 14 October 2010. The Department has considered the Committee's report and will publish its response shortly.

We will implement the changes proposed by the Department-led Review in Spring 2011, ensuring that they are in place as we start to re-assess individuals currently in receipt of incapacity benefits.

The Department-led Review is part of an ongoing process of improvement to the WCA. Taken together with the improvements we are making following Professor Harrington's Independent Review these changes represent important and ongoing progress in creating a fairer and more accurate assessment.

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