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ESA WCA - What happens next?

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I've been reading a certain website by a whistle blower (or so he calls himself). I believe he's a doctor who used to perform WCA tests for ATOS and he's wrote the following on his blog regarding what he believes will happen and indeed what is now happening to the ESA WCA: It is positive by the way

 

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

 

ESA Reassessments Suspended

 

 

The dogged investigators at Benefits and Work have used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain a key DWP internal memo from January. In it, the DWP instructed its staff to stop asking Atos for WCAs in certain circumstances. It was an official communication, so naturally it was unclear.

Here's what I think it DIDN'T say:

 

  • No one will ever have a WCA again
  • The IB reassessment programme has stalled
  • It's because Atos are pulling out.

What I think it DID say is:

 

  • When a claimant has: a) had a WCA; b) been accepted for ESA; and c) been recommended for another WCA in the future to review their condition, then Atos should henceforth no longer be asked to carry out that further WCA to review the claimant, unless the claimant has reported a change
  • The reason for the suspension is that a large backlog of WCAs has built up
  • Normal service is expected to resume when new providers come on stream at a later date in addition to Atos.

The memo was written in January and the author was presumably unaware that Atos were hoping to pull out of the WCA programme ASAP!

 

So I think statements about this being the end of the WCA are wide of the mark. What it does show is that Atos cannot process WCA requests quickly enough - no doubt because of the longer time it now takes to carry each one out, and because the number of assessors still willing to do them has dwindled since last summer.

Posted by dr greg wood at 11:12

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