ERSA welcomes Employment Minister, Mark Hoban’s announcement that Dr Paul Litchfield has been appointed to carry out the fourth independent review of the Work Capability Assessment (WCA).

All new applicants for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) must undertake a WCA to determine their eligibility for the benefit. There have already been three reviews conducted by Professor Malcolm Harrington that put forward a range of recommendations to improve the current process.  

ERSA chief executive Kirsty McHugh responded to the announcement:

“ERSA very much welcomes the appointment of Dr Paul Litchfield following the efforts by Professor Malcolm Harrington to improve the Work Capability Assessment process.

“The experience of many of our members is that the WCA is still not accurate enough and that people are still being placed in the wrong category for support. This not only an issue for individuals, but can also be a real concern for providers of services, such as the Work Programme, as the results of the WCA determine the resources available for providers to help jobseekers. 

“Progress to date in implementing Professor Malcolm Harrington’s recommendations has been slower than expected and we urge the government to implement the recommendations as soon as possible.”

05 November 2012 – ERSA policy briefing on the Work Capability Assessment