The second review of the work capability assessment (WCA) by Professor Harrington has been published today. Unfortunately, claimants who were hoping for any sort of support from the professor are likely to be left feeling deeply let down.

The report makes a number of recommendations with the stated aim of creating a fairer and more effective assessment process. For example, it recommends introducing checks on benefit decisions to ensure fairness and consistency in decision-making, with regular auditing of the performance of decision makers to ensure accountability for their decisions.

Professor Harrington also advises that to improve “​transpar​ency”​ in the assessment procedure, information should be published regularly about the performance of ATOS Healthcare. He advises that both the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and ATOS Healthcare should liaise and work with disability groups.

Professor Harrington recommends improved communications between decision makers and personal advisers and between first-tier tribunal and decision makers. He also encourages better support for claimants who are moved from employment and support allowance (ESA) to jobseekers allowance (JSA).

Benefits and Work has not had time to examine the report in depth as yet. But it appears that claimants are being asked to trust that important changes to the way DWP/Atos work have been made –​they just haven’​t filtered through to claimants actual experience of the process yet. There also appears to be no condemnation of the draconian changes to the WCA made in March of this year. Nor of the recent shortening of the time to return ESA50 forms from six weeks to four weeks.

Sadly, Harrington is looking increasingly like a DWP/Atos apologist rather than a claimant’​s champion.

The full report can be downloaded from the DWP website.


Write comments...
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.

We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.