On Tuesday (05/09) the DWP announced a consultation on the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) process. Having announced earlier this year that the WCA is to be scrapped altogether, the professed aim of this consultation is to ensure that it ‘delivers the right outcome while it still exists’. Behind this veneer of concern for disability benefit recipients, however, the true aim of the reforms proposed here is to save money for the DWP at the expense of disabled people’s rights.
Nowhere in the consultation description is this more evident than in the admission that the DWP is considering completely removing the low capacity for work-related activity (LCWRA) criteria altogether. If this were to happen, not only would claimants in this category lose up to £390.06 per month, their benefits could also become dependent on mandatory tasks that can be extremely distressing and exacerbate existing ill-health of all kinds. This is all part of an agenda that equates wellbeing and value with work and productivity.
This consultation is underpinned by the narrative that, because remote working has become more common, substantial numbers of disability benefit recipients can now be pushed into full time work – a reductive and dangerous assumption. The consultation is being rushed: it is only open until 11:59pm on the 30th of October.
NSUN is part of the Disability Benefits Consortium, which will be responding to the announcement collectively. If you are willing to respond to the consultation yourself to voice concerns, you can do so via the Government’s consultation webpage. On that webpage is also information on a number of virtual and face-to-face events on the consultation which you can request to attend.
October 2023 – updates on actions you can take:
- Z2K have produced a template letter you can use to write to your MP, asking them to oppose changes to the WCA.
- Disability Rights UK, Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People and Inclusion London, as part of the DPO Forum England, have produced a template consultation response (available at the bottom of this webpage) for DPOs and supporters to use to respond to the Government consultation.
- DPAC are organising a protest in London at 12 noon on the 30th October.