Work Capability Assessment: Saving tax payers money or torturing the currently unemployed?
This form contains over 130 questions. The questions cover ones physical health, and include
Getting up and down stairs
Difficulty using public transport
Specify your disability/illness
Using a wheelchair or hearing aid
Experience of heart attacks or strokes
Use of prescribed tablets with any side effects
Ability to move 50 metres without stopping
Stand/sit for one hour alone
Pick up 1 or 2 pint bottle
Controlling bowels and bladder
Ability to go out on your own.
These cover your ability to get to work , to pick things up, and to communicate with others. These abilities are indeed relevant to paid employment.
But there are other relevant abilities. The mathematical ability to compare ones wages to existing benefits. The legal knowledge about ones employers’ responsibilities to address your disability. Some knowledge about local employment patterns would be helpful.
The focus here is entirely the disabled individual. But this focus does not include the emotional strain in filling up this lengthy questionnaire, nor the potential embarrassment in revealing medical conditions. This raises questions about the reliability of all this information.
Further, there is no attempt to assess the interest in getting a job. No questions about previous employment experiences. Tax payers should be concerned about this use of their money. Trade unions should be offering help to the unemployed. Relatives of the unemployed will have pick up the pieces after this lengthy form filling, and possible subsequent interviews.