How successful is the Work Programme?

Compared to previous programmes, the Work Programme is not helping more people into work or keeping them in work longer. As we move into more favourable economic conditions the WP should improve, but comparisons to previous programmes (that operated under unfavourable conditions) would then become invalid. Improvements that reflect the economic environment would not be … Continue reading How successful is the Work Programme?

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Atos to leave WCA contract early

On Thursday the DWP announced that Atos is withdrawing from its contract to run Work Capability Assessments, the controversial assessment for people too sick or disabled to work. Interestingly the DWP both claim that they sacked Atos (“We removed them. It’s not them walking away”) and that Atos paid them for leaving. Which to me … Continue reading Atos to leave WCA contract early

Evidence-based review of the WCA

The government has been carrying out a study of suitable descriptors to use for assessments for ESA. The results were supposed to be released in spring of this year, then summer, and then finally were released earlier this month. The superficial results suggest that the current descriptors are better than the alternative descriptors tested in … Continue reading Evidence-based review of the WCA

The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

We cannot afford to base policy on public opinion when the public opinion is based on false information. ESA is a good example of this. Public opinion is that a larger proportion of those who were or still are on IB did not need or deserve to be there. Consequently there was room for approval … Continue reading The benefits system, workfare and public opinion

The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

When it’s their word against yours, medical evidence is what proves you’re not the one lying. Medical evidence is what says that you are in pain, or you are blind, or you are mentally ill. It’s what confirms that you aren’t making things up or exaggerating. It’s what tells the decision maker to believe your … Continue reading The importance of medical evidence for disability assessments

Who pays to employ sick people?

Many people are disabled because they are chronically sick.  These people cannot turn up to work regularly, because any given day they may be too ill.  They might be dosed up on painkillers to control their pain; they might be too weak to get out of bed; they might be too exhausted to concentrate; their … Continue reading Who pays to employ sick people?

Do people leave sickness benefits ‘rather than’ face an assessment?

I received a request to write about the 878 300 people who drop their ESA claims early.  The government’s line – repeated several times – is that these claims were fraudulent or cheats.  This topic has been covered multiple times by now.  Declan Gaffney produced an excellent report on this, which can be found here: … Continue reading Do people leave sickness benefits ‘rather than’ face an assessment?

Sickness and suicide

“84% of GPs say they have patients who have presented with mental health problems such as stress, anxiety or depression as a result of undergoing, or fear of undergoing, the Work Capability Assessment.  21% of GPs say they have patients who have had suicidal thoughts as a result of undergoing, or fear of undergoing, the … Continue reading Sickness and suicide

Disability’s Not Working

The government has plans to further sanction long-term sick or disabled people if they deem these people to not be working hard enough.  There are already sanctions if these people do not attend all of their ‘work focussed interviews’ or fail to satisfy ‘work-related activity’ requirements.  The government is extending this ‘work-related activity’ to include … Continue reading Disability’s Not Working

Atos and the Paralympics

A few days ago James Max wrote an article about Atos and the Paralympics.  Many disabled people and their supporters have been upset by the government’s permission for Atos to sponsor the Paralympics.  James Max argues that it is completely acceptable for Atos to be a sponsor.  He says that if you don’t like it, … Continue reading Atos and the Paralympics