See WCA to be abolished, claimants to be sanctioned by bots 13/03/23, for latest update

A number of national media outlets are reporting that the government is considering scrapping or overhauling the work capability assessment (WCA) as well as making it easier for claimants to return to their former benefits if an attempt at working fails.

The WCA is a points based system used to decide if a claimant is eligible for employment and support allowance or universal credit.

A white paper on benefits is due out in the next few months and it is claimed it will include changes to the WCA.  Ministers are said to be unhappy that the system currently focuses on what a claimant cannot do rather than what job they could do.

Many Benefits and Work readers may feel that they have heard all these pledges before and that little ever comes of them.

But with employers now struggling to fill vacancies and the number of people leaving the workforce because of illness at a record high, there is a strong incentive for the government to make changes.

Allowing claimants to return to their former benefits if an attempt at working is not successful sounds attractive on the face of it.

But given the enormous delays in processing claims, the impossibility of getting through to the DWP on the telephone and the department’s savage eagerness to sanction claimants, how many are likely to believe a smooth transition back to benefits would be possible?

And how many employers will be willing to take on claimants with a long history of ill-health, especially if their condition is one that varies in its severity?

Abolishing the WCA is clearly long overdue.  But the idea of replacing it with a system that tests what claimants can do instead ignores the fact that this is exactly what the WCA was allegedly designed to do.

The reality is that replacing the WCA with a new assessment which is independent of a claimant’s own health practitioners is likely to lead to exactly the same problems as the current WCA.

But, it seems to be increasingly likely that another attempt to overhaul the system to get more sick and disabled claimants into work is about to begin. 

Would you welcome changes to the system?  And would you trust the DWP to return you swiftly and smoothly to your benefits if you tried work and had to stop again?  Let us know in the comments section below.

You can read the full report in the Guardian

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    Fiona · 1 years ago
    Hell No.. Wouldn’t trust them an inch…
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    Vicky · 1 years ago
    All the focus on the work that we could do seems to ignore the fact that we might not be able to get out of the house and go to work.
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      Jill · 11 months ago
      @Vicky Don't worry they will make us work from home answering phones or something like that.
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    Bill Kruse · 1 years ago
    Creating a new assessment will have the effect of invalidating all legal precedents, which was the attraction to the govt of abandoning the existing measures of assement when the WCA was instroduced. That, I imagine, explains the interest. All relevant case law will no longer be relevant and will have to be established all over again, with many dying long the way. I suppose this is the  govt's sadistic response to Long Covid and the looming prospect a huge increase in the number of claimants. 
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    Amanda Wood · 1 years ago
    There is no way I would trust the government with any financial issues affecting ill and disabled people. I think they spend their time trying to come up with ways to deprive them and eventually kill them. By 'them' I include myself.
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    ACane · 1 years ago
    I’d love the ability to work & access disability benefits as I require, but my experience in the 44 yrs I’ve been a disabled adult is  I’ve been targeted for attack by successive governments. Unlike thousands of others I survived the 2016 Iain Duncan Smith slaughter during which the UN found that the U.K. government had systematically violated the human rights of the disabled and vilified them in the media. The same government is still in power. I have 44 yrs of reasons to distrust all UK governments  & the 4000 deaths resulting from this Tory governments policies back in 2016. They’ve been in since 2010 they only improve the lives of the extremely wealthy, those who have never used public services like schools hospitals, those who employ us. They don’t improve the lives of vulnerable people we’re a burden to be got rid of. Sounds to me like they’re coming for us again.
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    Arthur · 1 years ago
    These proposed changes were the same arguments used to introduce Universal Credit which has only made life worse for claimants. 
    If the present WCA was scrapped its replacement would be designed to make qualifying for benefits even harder.
    Every time a benefit is changed or replaced the new system is harder to qualify for than before.
    The true agenda is always the same force or fool people off benefits then make it even harder to requalify and if they do make sure they get less.
    It really is that bleak the politicians know that they can attack benefit claimants with impunity. They know that most people veiw claimants in a utterly negative way.
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      adrian · 1 years ago
      @Elizabeth Vidler VERY  worrying & sad   & 59 now payed 43 years class1 tax , ni PAYE more payed for my penstion & 35 yrs pay / ni. more payed for any benefits . which not free we pay for them  via TAXES / NI CLASS1 PAYE  over life time work . 
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      Elizabeth Vidler · 1 years ago
      @Arthur Arthur agree with everything you say, no replacement system is ever for the benefit of us the claimant, and yes both parties are playing to the electorate who think that those with disabilites are just getting something for nothing, but if we are not successful in getting jobs which yes where are they, then of course we will never see those benefits in the form we had them previously again.
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    bobtehbuilder · 1 years ago
    whilst some of the proposed changes may sound good, because it will be implemented by the tories, it will be used primarily to remove benefits from people for jobs that dont exist and the claimant would have to prove why they are unable to do the 1000's of fictional jobs the assessor invents. they're not just going to accept a claimant saying they cant do anything and leave it at that.
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      Bob · 11 months ago
      @bobtehbuilder If we are to demonstrate what work we can do how will that work people know what they can and can't do if your sick your sick and if you can't work will they force people into doing anything 
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    Alison Ryan · 1 years ago
    absolutely not when you have to wait 5 wks for u/c so how long would this take 
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    Susan · 1 years ago
    I wouldn't trust DWP to tell me it was raining even when I could see it was. They have become untrustworthy in the extreme.
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    Bruce · 1 years ago
    I've always said that the WCA should be done by a Doctor in the field of your illness(es). You should not have a nurse, physiotherapist or paramedic deciding if you're fit enough to work.
    If you were in the forces, you would not have a lower rank countermanding the orders of a higher rank!

    I don't think anyone would employ a long-term ESA/US claimant without Government help. Nor would they employ someone that does not meet their productivity levels.

    I like the idea of being put into early retirement if there is no chance of getting a job. However, I couldn't afford to lose nearly £24 a week
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      BC · 11 months ago
      @Bruce The government waste tens of billion of taxpayers money then try to make our life a misery for as little as £24 a week.
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      Bob · 11 months ago
      @adrian Government want to shift the responsibility on GP,s  doctors are run of their feet now can't wait to see what they will do. They have to be very careful who they will target Having worked with people with mental health issues I think it will just add to their stress of they feel forced to carry out work. 
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      Bob · 11 months ago
      @adrian I think government want to shift the responsibility back on Gap's to make decisions on what patient's they think can work. My doctor told me it's not there job to decide what work patients can do people who are sick know themselves what they can do or not. It's all about making the government look good.
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      adrian · 1 years ago
      @Bruce  yes  VERY TRUE  not 1/2  trained semi medical  person. 
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    Natalie Watson · 1 years ago
    I wish the dwp would give disabled people more on esa and dla and a note to Rishi Sunak to give people on esa the cost of living payment so far only people on certain benefits are eligible for cost of living 
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      JJ · 1 years ago
      @Bruce Yes, me too ( "Legacy" CB ESA ). I got £150 for PIP but that's it. Some got nothing 

      I don't begrudge anyone, anything but hearing ( I help on another Advice forum, ex-benefits and welfare officer ) of 2 or 3 adults in one household - including 20 yr olds who pay nothing towards bills - all getting £600 ( and getting it again ) was hard to swallow. Some couldn't believe it themselves ! 

      Obviously, the argument is the Means Tested one but....if they can give my (ahem, Tory-Voting ) MIL £600 WFA despite £50k+ savings, doesn't really wash. 

      Then to hear the ESA £20 Uplift appeal has failed, for good, is galling. 
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      Bruce · 1 years ago
      @Natalie Watson Sounds like you were on contribution based ESA. Only those that got income related ESA got the COL payments
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    Steve163 · 1 years ago
    How can anyone honestly trust the government about anything at this stage? They have blown all pretence they care about the individual in this country and have proved they are basically self serving traitors.
    There is no chance you will magically get your benefits back with ease because the system is designed to make it impossible to actually speak to anyone now, that includes loads of services apart from the already nightmarish DWP.
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      Bob · 1 years ago
      @Steve163 Another government scheme don't trust anything they will do. So you will have to prove what you can do. Like what. Getting out of bed washing yourself. And if you say yes you can get out of bed then what will they say your ok to work.  
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    Sophie · 1 years ago
    Hummm, well I agree with most comments! Life long conditions that are not likely to change should not be subjected to these assessments and assumptions made by people who have no idea! My son is now 19, he has Autism, DCD, Expressive Speech and Language disorder, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, PoTs, EDS among others, he is doing his best to get through each day!! I dread the post on a daily basis! I have been disabled now for nearly 19 years, with EDS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, CRP, and now loss of feeling to both lower limbs, amongst other things, again I dread the post each day and am just trying to live the best I can, but they make it very hard for us, constantly assessing long term sufferers of anything is a BIG WASTE OF MONEY and causes stress and anxiety on a daily basis that contributes to the worsening of our conditions, totally counter productive!! They could save so money by just listening!! Makes me so mad!!  They also negate to recognise that it has a detrimental effect on all family members, creating a bigger crisis on mass!! STOP JUST STOP and grow some brain cells, think logically and cease to bother the already suffering claimants, 99% of us I am certain would gladly swap our pain, debilitations, stress, anxiety and well you get the picture for manageable health and days where we aren’t constantly reminded we are not able to achieve, participate, and even just enjoy the joy of life! It’s tantamount to cruelty, neglect and abuse the levels that our government agencies put us through!! Rant over, kind off, for now! Wishing you all the best! Keep up the great work and everyone keep your chins held high! X 
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      Bob · 1 years ago
      @Sophie Agree people with long term health conditions mental health which are unlikely to change shouldn't have to go through those dreadful face to face assessments. 
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    Ian · 1 years ago
    I definitely don’t think the DWP would return a claimant back onto there existing benefits without a long drawn out argument as there in tension is to cut the benefits costs and fill a job post . Just a figure juggling exercise in an attempt to balance there books.
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    Adam · 1 years ago
    On what you can do? I can’t do anything. 
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    Dave · 1 years ago
    I have been on ESA for 4 ish years and it took 5 years of my gp making me unfit for work and the DWP making me fit for work. One employee in the job centre even said to me "If your in pain all the time then working would not make no difference"  It was supposed to be for two years and i have herd nothing from them at all? Ime to scared to even ask them whats going on as well as claiming PIP. Ime 66 years old in 18 Months and still live in fear of the dreaded brown letter.
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    Mo · 1 years ago
    There is no way you will get your benefits back once removed
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    Barbara · 1 years ago
    The only thing I trust the DWP to do is make my condition worse or kill me through the appalling claims procedure which is designed to cause as much suffering as possible. The only thing I trust this government to do is nothing except help their friends.
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    Tameca Lapierre · 1 years ago
    I 'm not sure what is the circumstances with the  D W P I usual work as a carer in twenty eleven I had a blead in my brain which stop me from going to work I  I usually liked my job it left me thinking because it just happen after recovering the bleed in my brain then I went to my doctor and they told me my kidneys are leaking protein the result is I have kidney disease which means I have to go  for dilysis three times a week  I usual work every day seven days a week without a day off I apply for benefit last year and the DWP said that I haven 't paid enough national insurance and I knew that was a lie it was only there escuse not to pay me the benefits that I'm rightly entitle to .
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    Mary Jackson · 1 years ago
    Why don't both main parties,,  Con & Labour just admit,, They want disabled people to die,,?  
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