DWP press release claims that the ESA Fitness to work assessment ‘continues to be improved’

DWP press release: Fitness for work assessment continues to be improved.

This new information from the DWP is particularly important for people with ME/CFS who are currently receiving Incapacity Benefit (ICB) and are going to be re-assessed for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) eligibility this year.

Despite the reassuring statement from the DWP, some of the changes to the Working Capability Descriptors in the Statutory Instrument (= seconday legislation) will probably make it even more difficult for people with ME/CFS to successfully claim ESA.

Professor Malcolm Harrington, who carried out the independent review of WCA last year, has asked Dr Charles Shepherd from the MEA to join a working group that is currently preparing a report on descriptors that apply to fluctuating conditions such as ME/CFS. Dr Shepherd has drawn the attention of the group to this announcement.

More information on Professor Harrington’s fluctuating conditions group can be found here: http://www.meassociation.org.uk/?p=4490

The MEA will be commenting further in due course.

Summary of Statutory Instrument: www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/228/made

Pdf of Statutory Instrument: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2011/228/made/data.pdf</a>