Benefits

House of Lords written question – answered on 19th December 2012.

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Photo of The Countess of Mar The Countess of Mar Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what person or organisation is legally liable for the wellbeing of benefits claimants who are found to be fit for work under the work capability assessment and who are then made to work.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The purpose of the work capability assessment (WCA) is to assist DWP decision-makers in assessing eligibility for benefit, or levels of benefit. The WCA is not a medical diagnosis and the decision affects benefit only; it does not oblige anyone to work.

Whilst the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is legally responsible for all benefit decisions made by officials of the department on his behalf, there is no legal responsibility held by the Secretary of State for the well-being of benefit claimants.

Therefore, neither DWP nor WCA healthcare professionals are liable for any adverse consequence suffered by a claimant following a decision that the claimant is fit for work or for work-related activity.

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No13 people think not

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