Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Huppert Raises Concerns Over Fit For Work Assessments


MP Julian Huppert has expressed his concerns that people being assessed for work are suffering because the wrong decisions are being made.

He raised the issue today (Tuesday, February 5) in Parliament after a number of Cambridge residents had expressed their fears about the Work Capability Assessment programme.

They were worried that the wrong decisions were being made which could force them to take their cases to appeal.

Julian asked Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, in the Commons if he would raise the issue with the Department of Work and Pensions “to try to make sure that the right decisions are made first time in the interests of government efficiency and also for people to avoid anxiety and worry while they go through the appeals process”.

An independent review of the process showed that around 40 per cent of people who go through Work Capability Assessments appeal against the decisions, and of those who go to tribunal around 38 per cent have the decision overturned in their favour.

Mr Green assured Julian that a huge amount of effort was being put in to make sure decisions were right first time; but he added that there has to be a right to appeal where it is necessary to do so.

Julian said later: “I am very concerned that people are being put through unnecessary worry and anxiety because these assessments are not tailored to deal with the intricacies of individual cases. A one size fits all policy is leading to error.

“Where people are capable of working then it is right that they should do so; but in certain circumstances some people have particularly complex physical or mental health problems which cannot be assessed by simply ticking boxes.”