Work Capability Assessment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th June 2012.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what issues are taken into account when determining whether to call in a person in receipt of employment and support allowance for a repeat work capability assessment.

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

As part of the WCA, a healthcare professional will give advice on when they think a claimant's functional capability may have changed sufficiently that a return to work may be possible.

They must also give a justification for this advice, which is used by the Department to decide when to reassess claimants.

We recognise that asking customers to attend an unnecessary examination is in no-one's interests, for example, those people with terminal illnesses will not undergo a face-to-face assessment.

In addition, claimants who are unlikely to return to work in the longer term will be reassessed after two years if they have limited capability for work and after three years if they have limited capability for work- related activity. This is because it is important not to write people off completely, even if an individual is unlikely to see an improvement in their condition.

Wherever possible, these reassessments will not involve a face-to-face assessment and a decision will be made using paper-based evidence.

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