An article appeared in The Independent on 23 October 2014 entitled, “Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as ‘fit to work in future’ – despite no possibility of improvement”.
The Countess of Mar raised the issue of the Work Capability Assessment (the test for Employment and Support Allowance) in the House of Lords on November 5th , as follows;
My Lords, is there any foundation to the report in the Independent last week that some 6,000 people with diseases such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and severe CFS/ME have been put into the work-related activity group? If that is the case, how many of those people have been got into work? What is the point of putting them in the WRAG if they are not going to get better?
The Conservative Minister for Welfare Reform, Lord Freud, replied:
Clearly, I am not able to respond on specific people going into specific places. The whole point of the assessments is to focus on functional capability or needs at the point of assessment.