The Welfare Reform Act 2007 provides for the new employment and support allowance, which will be supported by the new work capability assessment.
The new work capability assessment will be a fair, robust and accurate assessment of a person’s capability for work, reflecting the activities needed in today’s workplace and concentrating on what people can do rather than what they cannot do. The current personal capability assessment needed a thorough review to ensure that the new assessment is up-to-date and accurate, and that it will identify those people who should be entitled to employment and support allowance, including those with long term-and fluctuating conditions such as myalgic encephalopathy.
The work capability assessment is not a snapshot of a person’s condition on the day of the assessment. In assessing whether a person can carry out any given activity, healthcare professionals must take into account the person’s condition over a reasonable period of time. If there is a change in a person’s disabling condition, there will be a provision to refer the person to an approved healthcare professional so that we can determine afresh whether or not the person has limited capability for work, or limited capability for work-related activity.
The disability living allowance guidance on myalgic encephalopathy and chronic fatigue syndrome was developed in conjunction with a group of experts in this area of medicine. It gives benefit decision-makers a greater understanding of this illness and the consequent care needs and mobility difficulties, and will enable them to make better-informed decisions on a person’s entitlement to disability living allowance.