How would you abolish WCA?

Sonny Bailey

WCA are carried out by private assessors who are on private company contracts. To abolish WCA would require a refusal to review those contracts, which will allow for an easier path to appoint medical professionals who are experts in their field.

Richard Rieser

I will campaign for its immediate abolishment. I will campaign for a Universal Income which makes much more sense in the wake of Covid 19. I will argue for a fully funded Independent Living Service for the additional costs of being disabled in a society full of barriers. I will argue for an adjudication of need by a panel of disabled people.  In the interim claimants will have their needs met by interim measures. Essential to this process is to have properly funded local DPOs with democratically elected representatives  who will support claimants and adjudicate.

EliSabeth Roberts

I would shut it down straight away. Having gone to court with my daughter and the judge having to apologise, whilst she had a panic attack, it’s not workable, it fails the very people that it’s assessing.

The assessment of individuals, has to come after an audit is carried out on employers, on how accessible work is for everyone who has a disability, how much employers understand about disability. If training for employers was provided, accessibility was seriously considered and funded, meaningful employment could be provided at an individual level, with a liveable wage and the chances of promotion.  

Assessments can then be provided on the individuals views, how to support them in employment and support if they cannot be employed, without the degrading and bullying behaviour that we have seen.”

Nik Oakley

With a massive Tory majority it will be a hard task. But I would work with key MPs to get a Parliamentary debate and motion.

Mr George Lindars-Hammond

We are always going to need a way to assess people’s care needs but we need that we trust that people want to work, rather than trying to avoid this and build a system that recognises this.

John James Doherty

The Work Capability Assessment is currently being run by private companies working on behalf of the UK Government, which usual unqualified personal working to strict UK Governmental standards, where it is up to the applicant whether or not they are  to work, and it relies on an unfair points system and unqualified Health Workers and Doctors who no experience in specific illnesses and disabilities. I nits current form it is very inadequate and judgemental  and should scrapped all together and replaced by a Public Government Service, which does away with points systems and unqualified staff and replaces the system with specialists in all fields and interacting with GP’s and Consultants and each case on an individual basis, making for a much fairer system.

Kevin Watts

These would be taken out of any further legislation relating to social security & social care. As a start, those individuals with “for life disabilities” that will not change should be removed from the need for these degrading assessments

Emily Pomroy-Smith This is an incredibly complex issue, and I would in this case defer to those who have done the research and are working on exactly this problem. My instincts would be for GP and specialist led assessments, but as someone who had to fight for 3 years for a diagnosis of something that was apparent as soon as I learned to walk, I have a small level of distrust of some of the medical profession.

Geraldine Bird

Yes I would support this

Kendrick Fowler

I would persuade our party to keep to it’s 2019 manifesto commitment to abolishing the work capability assessments.

James Driver

I would push for the abolishment of the WCA and replace it with an individual system that assesses everyone;s individual circumstances, how ill that person is, the type of job they had, their mobility so that their package of support can be tailored to them.

Ellen Morrison

First and foremost, we need to fight for a Labour government that will end benefit sanctions and the work capability assessment, and transform our society so that disabled people can live independently and with dignity. Never again can we see our Party support the policies and rhetoric that have caused so many deaths and so much avoidable harm to disabled people. 

In opposition, Labour should be working on its policy programme for when we’re in government.  I’ve set out in previous answers how on the NEC I’ll push for policymaking for us, by us, so that never again will Labour commit to Tory welfare plans that abuse disabled people, and deny us the right to decent lives. I’ve also committed to pushing for the establishment of active, democratic disabled members’ structures within Labour, so that our voices cannot be ignored any longer on the issues that affect us.

There is existing work with the Commission on Social Security, that Labour should seek to learn from and adopt its ideas. The Commission on Social Security is led by experts by experiences (everyone involved is currently on or recently has been on benefits). It is currently doing its second consultation with disabled people, their organisations, and benefits claimants to design a social security system that actually works for the people that rely on it. This is vital work the Party should look to. It identifies key principles that all benefits should be based on, as well as some developed benefit replacements like a Guaranteed Decent Income Level. As mentioned, these initial ideas that are out for consultation (and then will be built into some final recommendations in the coming year) draw upon the experience of thousands of benefit claimants and disabled people’s organisations. Some of the work that informed these ideas were DPAC’s principles that working age benefits should adhere. Some of, but not all, these principles include:

  • The assessment / benefit process must be must user-led: a self assessment process (with external verification) delivered through peer-led DPOs
  • It must be based around the following three questions (drawn from personal budgets):

a) How do you want to live and what do you want to achieve?

b) What stops you living that life?

c) What would help you live that life?

  • The assessment/benefit process must express and reflect the UNCRPD – it must explicitly support disabled people to live independently with choice and control
  • There must be independent information, advice and advocacy available to disabled people, delivered by DPOs, going through the assessment process
  • The assessment should also be of what additional support a person might need in order to take up suitable employment, again taking account of a specific job environment as well as any relevant wider issues around the 12 pillars of independent living, such as access to transport, access to personal assistance, etc. Work however must never be seen as a ‘health outcome’ 
  • All sanctions and conditionality must be removed from the social security system with immediate effect.
  • Ensuring meaningful and speedy access to redress if a person is unhappy with the result of their assessment.
  • Self-assessment applications will only be processed within the DWP (or equivalent government department) and there will be no role for private contractors.

Establishing the principles that working age benefits must adhere to is an important step for Labour and so far the detail around social security policy has been lacking. I strongly feel working with the Commission on Social Security to adopt policy developed by people with lived experience would be a powerful commitment.