Steve McCabe MP calls for changes to Work Capability Assessment following court ruling

Steve McCabe is calling on the Government to change the Work Capability Assessment, conducted by ATOS, which are used to decide whether a person is fit for work.

 

A legal challenge was lodged by two people with mental health problems who claimed these tests for Employment and Support Allowance would discriminate against them.

 

Judges ruled that the Work Capability Assessment puts people with mental illness, autism and learning difficulties at a substantial disadvantage.

 

ATOS, the company contracted to carry out the assessments on behalf of the Government, have recently come under fire from a former ATOS doctor who accused the assessments of being biased and said they were designed to incorrectly assess claimants as being fit for work.

 

Steve McCabe MP said:

“I have many constituents contact me who have been assessed as fit for work by ATOS when this clearly isn’t the case, and this is vindicated by statistics which show that a third of decisions appealed against were successfully overturned at tribunal.

 

“The most worrying thing about the work capability assessments is the inherent discrimination against people with mental health problems and learning difficulties, there is too much emphasis on how far you can walk and assessors are told to stick to a strict set of criteria and there is no room for discretion.

 

“I am not saying we shouldn’t have assessments as there will always be a small minority of people who think they are too ill to work when that is not the case, but the Government needs to go back and look at these assessments as I do not think they are fit for purpose.”

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