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Work Capability Assessments

Volume 565: debated on Monday 1 July 2013

10. What assessment he has made of the operation of work capability assessments; and if he will make a statement. (162098)

The work capability assessment is aimed at ensuring people out of work through ill health or disability get the support they need. It is under regular review and today the call for evidence for the fourth review is being launched.

In recent weeks, it seems that more of my constituents have been put in the work-related activity group without even having a face-to-face assessment. Will the Minister confirm whether the use of discretionary powers is increasing and will he reassure me that that is not a case of cutting corners to clear a backlog?

It depends on the information provided and if claimants are providing good-quality information through the ESA50, they can be referred without a face-to-face assessment. I would also point out that the proportion of people going into the support group has increased in recent times, particularly as a consequence of not using face-to-face assessments.