Ouch Too - a place for and about disabled people.

Forum => Welfare Rights => Topic started by: lankou on 24 Apr 2012 02:46PM

Title: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: lankou on 24 Apr 2012 02:46PM
http://statistics.dwp.gov.uk/asd/workingage/esa_wca/esa_wca_20120424.pdf
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Hurtyback on 24 Apr 2012 02:50PM
Thank you, lankou.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: lankou on 24 Apr 2012 02:53PM
Thank you, lankou.

There seems to be a significant increase in the numbers getting into the support group over the last couple of data sets.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Monic1511 on 24 Apr 2012 10:28PM
Thanks for that
I'll try & study them later but the herald mentioned the stats here

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/herald-view/still-too-many-questions-over-fitness-for-work-tests.17370322

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/half-on-sick-benefits-told-to-find-work.17372415

the worrying bit seems to be the differences in postcodes

"More than half of those on sickness benefits across parts of Scotland are being told they are fit to work immediately.

Rates of those judged healthy enough to hold down a job are far higher in Clackmannanshire and Falkirk than the one-in- three UK average.

But campaigners and opposition politicians denounced the system as flawed and pointed out that almost four in 10 decisions are overturned on appeal.

The Coalition is reassessing more than a million people claiming incapacity benefit across the UK, as it attempts to cut £16 billion from the welfare bill.

Ministers insist the tests are necessary to save money and free hundreds of thousands of people "trapped" on benefits.

However, the tests have proved highly controversial amid accusations they are too blunt and easily misjudge individual circumstances.

Earlier this year, the Government was forced to announce a series of changes designed to cut the number of appeals upheld.

The figures, released yesterday, come just weeks after the Government announced the first tranche of UK-wide results which suggested that one in three people were being told they were fit to work.

In some parts of the country that figure is much higher. In Clackmannanshire 51% of those tested were told they were fit to work, the highest percentage in Scotland.

In Falkirk that figure was 48%, in Stirling 44% and in North Ayrshire 40%.

Across Scotland the average was slightly lower than it was across the rest of the UK, at 31%, with the lowest figure in Perth and Kinross at 19%.

Last night, Chris Grayling, the Conservative Employment Minister, said that the figures proved "how much of a waste of human life the current system has been". "Too many people have been left languishing on benefits for too long," he said.

The Government has begun a Work Programme designed to help thousands of people back into work.

But the programme has also attracted controversy for paying companies up to £14,000 per intervention and for ignoring smaller groups and charities when awarding contracts.

Critics said the system was flawed and that many ill people had been wrongly told they were healthy.

Dame Anne Begg, the Labour Aberdeen MP who chairs the Commons Work and Pension Select Committee and who has been a noted critic of the assessments, said: "The thing that worries me is that I think there are people who have health impediments to getting a job sitting in the 'able to work' group because of the way the assessments have been carried out."

She pointed out that there were a high proportion of people claiming sickness benefits.

She added: "There are people who qualified under the old criteria but not the new criteria, but that doesn't make them benefits cheats."

Citizens Advice Scotland have warned that more than 100,000 sick and disabled Scots could lose £390 million over the next three years after being told that they are fit for work.

The charity says the changes could have a "devastating impact" on some of the poorest families.

Around 1.5 million incapacity benefit claimants will be reassessed as part of the Coalition's plans over the next three years.

They are then told whether they are considered fit enough to return to work immediately, whether they will someday be able to return to work with support, or whether their illness is considered so disabling that it prevents them from working.

Ministers warn that before they started the tests, some of those on benefits had not been assessed for more than a decade."
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: lankou on 25 Apr 2012 09:12AM


Ministers warn that before they started the tests, some of those on benefits had not been assessed for more than a decade."

Which as we all know is a blatant lie, as GPs have to fill out a form every year.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 25 Apr 2012 10:40AM
GPs have to fill in what form every year, lankou?  I have not been asked by my GP about any such form and as far as I know DWP haven't told me they intend to ask my GP anything (definitely not within the last couple of years).
I've been on DLA for 4 years + IB continuously since at least Sept 2008.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: lankou on 25 Apr 2012 10:46AM
GPs have to fill in what form every year, lankou?

Yes every year, you and many others may well know nothing about it.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 25 Apr 2012 11:13AM
Thing is, like a lot of disabled people, I don't see my GP (or any other medical people) about my main disabling condition because it is permanent and not fixable.
I don't know how much my GP knows about how it affects my everyday life, as I acquired this brain injury 3 GP surgeries and 18 years since while living in another part of the country; it was already to a large degree part of my "normal" when I registered with the current surgery.  I have given the GP documents and had discussions about why it means I would be unable to learn to drive (so someone could sign the form to get me a travel pass) but not in any detail about other effects. 
That means that if a GP is filling out a form without asking me directly about the questions on it, they are working from some pretty vague and old records.  For 12 years I didn't know that I had a brain injury and my then-GP thought any difficulties I was having were to do solely with mental health, with no physical reason for memory/ concentration problems or fatigue at all.
I still have no "official" diagnosis of brain injury, as the only people really qualified to give such a diagnosis are neurologists; and no neurologist would be pleased to get a "new" patient who has been living with a brain injury for 18 years (What on earth would they be expected to do, except say, "Yes, you have a brain injury but are managing as well as can be expected, please go away and let me give my time to someone I can actually change things for"?); I don't think my GP would be silly enough to refer me.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Pyrotech on 25 Apr 2012 03:48PM
Last night, Chris Grayling, the Conservative Employment Minister, said that the figures proved "how much of a waste of human life the current system has been". "Too many people have been left languishing on benefits for too long," he said.

No it does not mean this, it means that the goal post were moved and the goal made significantly smaller.    The real question is how many are now in FULL time employment... thats a figure we don't get.

These people are in general still languishing on benefits, just different ones and cheaper ones..

This Grayling is one man I really would like face to face time with...
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: devine63 on 25 Apr 2012 09:00PM

Seegee said:
"I still have no "official" diagnosis of brain injury, as the only people really qualified to give such a diagnosis are neurologists; and no neurologist would be pleased to get a "new" patient who has been living with a brain injury for 18 years (What on earth would they be expected to do, except say, "Yes, you have a brain injury but are managing as well as can be expected, please go away and let me give my time to someone I can actually change things for"?); I don't think my GP would be silly enough to refer me."

Hi Seegee

you are correct that only a neurologist could give you such a diagnosis, and it would not really be a good use of his/her time.

The following is of course entirely up to you - not everyone wants to bother with this sort of thing and that's fine.....

However assuming that somewhere in your medical notes / elsewhere the incident which caused the brain damage has been documented, you might not need that "diagnosis", but you might find it useful (e.g. for future employment or study purposes) to have a neuropsychological assessment (conducted by a Chartered (Neuro)Psychologist) which could help to document your strengths and weaknesses.  Typically such an assessment would be very similar to the ones used to identify dyslexia for students (but an Educational Psychologist should not undertake this assessment as it's outside their expertise) and it covers verbal skills, reasoning skills, various non-verbal skills and so on.   

Once such an assessment is available a decent mentor / study skills tutor / other person with patience and appropriate skills could be funded (e.g.  by Access to work or by student funding) to use the assessment to help you to develop better coping strategies for those areas where your skills are weakest - which can then be the basis for a request for reasonable adjustments to an employer or college where you study (e.g.).

Your GP could refer you to a neuropsych, though waiting lists might be long for NHS assessment.   Or if you have the resources (or an employer / college who could pay) you could use the find a psychologist function on the British Psychological Society website (www.bps.org.uk ) to find a private neuropsych in your area - though the likely cost of an assessment is £150 +.

I hope that's of interest,
regards, Deb
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: hossylass on 25 Apr 2012 09:31PM
Does the GP fill out the form if you are PCA exempt?

And what if you dont see a GP, but have all your health needs through a private practise (not that I do but I have used private before)?
I have changed my GP a lot due to homelessness and moving around, and I cannot imagine a GP filling out this form who has never seen me at his practise at all.

If you are not PCA exempt then yes, I should imagine that they do have to tick a box saying "Not fit for work at this current time".
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 26 Apr 2012 11:13AM
Hi Deb,

Thanks for putting that down so clearly.

I've done most of the things you suggest, which I hope will also be useful for anyone else wanting an assessment.

There will, of course, be records of my initial collapse and that my heart/ lungs were kept going mechanically for a few days, though maybe not of how I was in the next few months since I didn't apparently have any follow-up after discharge.  I'm not sure what happened there, I was discharged from medical ward once I could walk, talk, dress & feed myself and sent to a psych ward (I wasn't mentally unwell at the time but couldn't be sent home cos my memory was so bad I might well have wandered off & got completely lost) - it seems that either follow-up from medical unit wasn't organised or they may have sent me appointments that I unsurprisingly forgot to attend.  That's largely guesswork and bits collected by family, I can't actually remember anything about that hospital admission or what happened for well over 3 years afterwards.

The JC+ were instrumental in starting me on my search for what was causing me such problems.  Top marks to the advisers and the DEA who realised that me getting work, not coping, losing work, applying successfully for work, getting work... was an indication of a possible brain problem and getting some initial aptitude tests, etc. done. 
They also sent me to a place specialising in helping people with brain injuries, who gave me useful information and suggested a neuropsychologist may be able to tell me even more.
I now have some paperwork from a clinical neuropsychologist a few years ago (I had to fight my then-GP pretty hard for a referral).  That neuro-psychologist ran a memory group locally for a while.  One thing he did point out, though, is that he's not a doctor & can't do official diagnoses; and I'm not clear if ATOS, or even DWP decision-makers, take nearly as much note of stuff written by experts who don't happen to be medical doctors (even if they work for the NHS).

I really hope they do; currently I go to the Brain & Spinal Injury Centre (not NHS, and no medical doctors) and they actually do know quite a lot about what I do most weeks and the sort of difficulties I have.  BASIC have been very helpful in teaching more coping skills, etc (among other things).

I know, as you obviously do, that a medical doctor wouldn't be able to do anything about my brain injury. 

I think I was pushing for investigation of my capabilities a few years ago because the DWP system was so inflexible it had effectively been saying, "not ill so can work and build gradually to full-time" despite repeated evidence that I was unable; and the local JC+ wanted to get proof that (as they knew already) I wasn't able and was unlikely to "get better" with practice.  I owe a lot to the staff at the local JC+; without their support and push to continue with the next step of investigation I'd still probably be on the work-sick-JSA-work cycle they picked up on.  I'd have given up without finding out without their help.
Memory problems and fatigue are a big part of brain injury and would have stopped me.  Oh, yuk, just realised that post took over an hour and a half to write without moving from in front of the computer... so employable, I am!
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Hurtyback on 26 Apr 2012 11:30AM
It is really good to hear that the JC+ staff went above and beyond their basic remit in order to get you some answers!
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 26 Apr 2012 12:02PM
Yes, the staff at JC+ were very good indeed - that includes multiple general advisors on the front desks and two DEAs.  >thumbsup< >magicfairy<
I hope that most of the staff in many areas are as sensible and useful.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Sofie on 26 Apr 2012 09:44PM
Quote
In some parts of the country that figure is much higher. In Clackmannanshire 51% of those tested were told they were fit to work, the highest percentage in Scotland.

In Falkirk that figure was 48%, in Stirling 44% and in North Ayrshire 40%.

And how many were found fit for work at tribunal? And how many were refused JSA because they're unfit for work? It would be interesting to see stats for those refused ESA and JSA.
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: devine63 on 26 Apr 2012 10:55PM
Hi Seegee

Yes indeed I was hoping my earlier post might be helpful to others as well as yourself - getting a neuropsychological assessment is a potential strategy for anyone who has ANY form of cognitive impairment (e.g. problems with memory, attention, language, etc.).

I'm delighted to hear your Job Centre Plus team were so on the ball - that is literally the first time I have heard a positive comment about them!  (Though to be fair, I have not been looking for such comments)

I'm also pleased to hear how helpful your BASIC centre have been too,
regards, Deb
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: Sunshine Meadows on 27 Apr 2012 10:36AM
Quote
No it does not mean this, it means that the goal post were moved and the goal made significantly smaller.    The real question is how many are now in FULL time employment... thats a figure we don't get.

Pyrotech,

I was thinking of something similar.

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2012/apr-2012/dwp042-12.shtml


Quote
Employment Minister Chris Grayling said:

    "Our reforms are built around the simple premise; we want to look at your potential to work not just your limitations. For too long people were left with no support sitting at home on benefits. It is clear that the majority of new claimants to sickness benefits are in fact able to do some work.

    “For those who need additional support getting into work, the Work Programme provides tailored support to help overcome whatever barriers they may face.”

 >headbang<
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 27 Apr 2012 03:21PM
JC+ staff knew I have intermittent depression; I think that's why the front-desk staff originally referred me to a DEA, to see if she could discourage me from repeatedly trying nearly-full-time work which seemed to be making me ill. 
She asked for a medical history (including hospital admissions) and made a connection, then arranged assessment by an "employment psychologist"; they said "probable brain injury, refer to specialist provider"...  and that is how the system is supposed to work.
The specialist provider wrote all the things they have to write after my attendances there such as the possibility of perhaps building towards work of more than 16 hours over time, but they also made it quite clear that I have a brain injury and it's not going to disappear but will have lifelong effects; also that I was participating to the best of my ability and clearly willing to work.  I was very glad to get some idea of what was happening, as I'd been very confused and distressed at being unable to cope with things that used to be so easy (like shiftwork/ long hours/ learning new things).

BASIC www.basiccharity.org.uk are still helping now - don't think I'm likely to stop going there anytime soon.  (I keep posting their site because they run a helpline for anyone with a brain or spinal injury/ their families, etc.)
Title: Re: Latest data release for the Work Capability Assessment
Post by: seegee on 27 Apr 2012 03:26PM
I should have said that BASIC are not the work preparation provider I was sent to; nothing against the provider, they were pleasant and helpful (gave me lots of good info and suggestions), just wouldn't want anyone avoiding BASIC thinking they are so entangled with DWP.