Tag Archives: work capability assessment

A few thoughts after Matt’s brave post – we have to make the system more realistic, fair and compassionate

It’s impossible to read Matt’s brave post on his battles not just with his own severe illnesses, but with the welfare system without feeling deeply moved. I felt upset and angry at the many failures of the state to give him the care and support he needs. I’m not just talking about medical care. It’s about having to fight for the benefits which put food on the table and keep a roof over his head. A liberal society takes care of those who are too ill to make their own living. There can never be a compromise on this. …

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Opinion: 2013′s banana skin?

Banana skin - Some rights reserved by purplemattfishThe LibDem Voice end of year survey gives us, as usual, much food for thought.

Net approval of the coalition’s record is down to 14% from 41% a year before. “Three big hits seem to have been responsible: first, the row over the NHS Bill; secondly, the omnishambolic March budget; and thirdly, the collapse of Lords reform”.

What issues might derail us this year? One is slowly poisoning our society, and with it the claims of the Liberal Democrats to be a party of fairness.

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Some positive news on the Work Capability Assessment

One of the most difficult aspects of the welfare reforms for many Liberal Democrat activists to bear was the removal of Employment and Support Allowance after a year from those placed in the Work Related Activity Group. Our anxiety is compounded by what we see as a deeply flawed assessment system which does not take fluctuating conditions seriously. I wrote a critique of the application form earlier this year which explains some of the problems.

The Work Capability Assessment was introduced by Labour in 2008.  The Coalition has improved it under the guidance of Professor Malcolm Harrington, but not to …

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Opinion: Government must not force work activities on Cancer patients

The main form of financial support for the long term sick and disabled is the Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Once upon a time, cancer patients undergoing radio or chemotherapy intravenously were placed in the support group of ESA where they received unconditional support. However, those receiving radio or chemotherapy orally were placed in the Work Related Activity Group of ESA where they were forced to attend work related interviews and complete other work related activity or face having part or all of their support withdrawn.

My mother died of cancer. A large part of her treatment consisted of oral chemotherapy. Oral because …

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Jenny Willott MP writes: Harrington – better assessments, better outcomes

At our Conference in September, the Liberal Democrats unanimously supported a motion calling for changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) which accompanies it.

Speaker after speaker stood up to condemn the system left by Labour which subjected sick and disabled people to an ineffective, demeaning assessment process that was not fit for purpose. Many will remember the powerful speech by Shana Pezaro who condemned the WCA process as ‘utterly failing many people’.

The motion welcomed the first annual review of the WCA by Professor Malcolm Harrington, and the progress the Coalition Government has already …

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Opinion: Why you must lobby Parliament over welfare reform

A few weeks ago, our autumn conference passed a motion on the Employment Support Allowance (ESA). This motion was passed near unanimously and party policy is now for us to push for significant changes to the government’s welfare reforms.

The reason behind the new policy is that the government’s changes, as currently formatted, would put two million long term sick and disabled people through a system which treats them like scroungers and cheats rather than vulnerable people in need of support. At present, 11,000 people a day are being put through a deeply flawed assessment process, which gets the decision …

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A Radical Activist Grandma writes… Lib Dems must make their voice heard on mental health and disability issues

Suzanne Fletcher had an experience many Lib Dems have experienced at the party’s conference: she’d prepared a speech but there was not time to call her during the debate. However, Lib Dem Voice is delighted, with Suzanne’s permission, to share her thoughts with our readers…

The speech I didn’t make at Lib Dem conference on the Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) and Work Capability Assessments
First of all congratulations to the Disability Consortium for their well-run campaign to get people to come and vote in this debate, although I was certainly going to be here anyway, along with my colleagues from Stockton, …

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Conference motion: The way sick and disabled people are treated by the benefit system

At 4.15pm on Saturday 17 September, Lib Dem autumn conference will debate the Liberal Youth sponsored motion on the Employment Support Allowance and the Work Capability Assessment. This motion deals with the way sick and disabled people are treated by the benefit system and the way in which they are assessed to determine whether they are eligible for benefits or not.

The motion specifically targets the time limiting of support to a maximum one year for any sick or disabled people who have made national insurance contributions in the three years prior to claiming, the appeal system which sees anywhere between …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJeffrey Kaufman 30th Jul - 11:40am
    Exactly my thoughts
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 30th Jul - 11:38am
    Aargh, sorry - misspelled your name again, Matthew! For the nineteen million, two hundred and seventy-seventh time, can we please have a preview/edit function for...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 30th Jul - 11:36am
    Matthew Huntback "So when you write “the Lib Dems” here, do you actually mean “the Leader of the Liberal Democrats and other official spokespeople” rather...
  • User AvatarJoe Bailey 30th Jul - 11:35am
    It is being reported that the kidnap/murder of the three Israeli teenagers was not the work of Hamas, and that Israeli intelligence was aware of...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 30th Jul - 11:26am
    Sorry - I misread David Wright's post, which I wrongly took to be listing all political donations above £2000.
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 30th Jul - 11:24am
    If you do want to use numbers to assess the relative power of the EU and national governments, incidentally, there is a much more meaningful...