Campaigners have been celebrating when the court ruled that the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is unfair for people with mental health problems. The judgement is extremely significant, as it provides legal proof, for the first time, that the system puts people with mental health problems at a disadvantage.
The campaign, headed up by Rethink, to improve the WCA and all benefits tests is a long-term project. The Rethink Mental Illness advice line hears daily from people who feel they have been treated unfairly. Up until now only small improvements have been made but now that there is independent legal proof that the system is unfair it can no longer be said that the system is fine. Although it will take some time for things to change, it is no longer just charities and campaign groups but judges in a court of law saying it is unfair and this is powerful.
There are two more hearings planned for July and September to decide exactly what, if any, changes the DWP will have to make to the system. Nothing will change for now. Those going through the WCA will still have to go to their appointments and judgements about their ability to work will still be made using the system as it stands now.
Rethink are campaigning for the Government to pause the mass reassessment of people with mental illness until the DWP have improved the process. So, while this ruling is a huge step forward in our long-running campaign against the unfair WCA, it’s by no means the end of the road.
For more information about this visit http://www.rethink.org/news-views/2013/05/courts-have-ruled-benefits-test-is-unfair-but-what-does-it-mean-and-whats-next to see what Rethink have to say!!
If you’re worried about benefits, read Rethinks webpages about Money issues, benefits & employment
Rethinks advice service is open Mon-Fri 10am-2pm and you can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 5000 927