work capability assessment

Atos pays off government to escape disability assessment contract early

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 12:54 -- nick

Hated work capability assessment (WCA) company Atos has had to pay off the government to be allowed to escape its contract a year before it was due to end.

The French firm's contract had been due to end in August 2015, but it has paid a "substantial" amount of money to be allowed out of it early.

Mike Penning, the minister for disabled people, said:

"Today we are announcing that we are seeking a new provider to replace Atos, with the view to increasing the number of assessments and reducing waiting times.

Sitting a Work Capability Assessment soon? Practice questions here

Wed, 24/07/2013 - 14:31 -- nick

Have you been told to sit a Work Capability Assessment soon? The website Benefits and Work has put together an online test just like the one you will go through so you can be prepared for what is to come.

The site makes clear that you might come to different conclusions than the assessor, but it should help you understand how to deal with the test ahead.

Go to the online test

Atos apologises for mistakes in assessing disabled people

Thu, 18/04/2013 - 12:51 -- nick

Atos, the controversial company responsible for assessing long-term sick and disabled people's fitness for work on behalf of the government, has apologised for mistakes it has made.

Speaking to Radio 4's You and Yours programme, Lisa Coleman, the manager who oversees the firm's contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), said "If we get something wrong then I'm very happy to say sorry."

MPs criticise Work Capability Assessment

Fri, 08/02/2013 - 12:03 -- nick

MPs on the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee have criticised the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the test to find out whether disabled and long-term sick people are fit for work.

The committee found that successful appeals against WCA decisions were running at 38%, far in excess of the figure expected through human error.

The chair of the committee, Labour's Margaret Hodge, said the test was hurting the "most vulnerable" and accused the government of being "unduly complacent" in appearing to treat appeals as part of the process despite the anxiety they caused.

Work capability assessments fail again

Thu, 04/10/2012 - 15:00 -- nick

This article from The Guardian's Society section tells the story of Ruth Anim, a woman with severe disabilities who received an Atos work capability assessment and was found fit for work. We have written before extensively about these assessments at UnemployedNet, concluding that something between the government's wishes in the contract and the interpretation of Atos meant the tests were going very badly wrong. This has been demonstrated in the huge number of decisions overturned at appeal - 40% at one point.

Reviewer of fitness-to-work benefit tests to stand down

Mon, 30/07/2012 - 14:29 -- nick

The man in charge of reviewing the government's controversial fitness-to-work benefit assessments is to stand down, the BBC's Panorama has learned.

Professor Malcolm Harrington has called for a big overhaul of the process of testing claimants' ability to work to make it more "fair and humane".

He said ministers wanted a "fresh set of eyes" - but denied this was because of changes he had asked for.

Officials said he had only been recruited for a limited period.

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