Evidence Needed for Third Government Review of the Work Capability Assessment


Adapted from the Benefits and Work website


Have you had a Work Capability Assessment (WCA), the medical test for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

If so, Professor Harrington, the independent reviewer of the WCA, wants to hear from you as he gathers evidence for his third independent review.

The deadline for responses is 7th September 2012.


Why it matters

It’s vital that as many ESA claimants as possible respond to Harrington and tell him whether the changes he has already asked the Department for Work and Pensions to make to the process have made any difference.

If you think the WCA has improved, then it’s important that Harrington can tell the DWP that they are moving in the right direction and should keep up the good work.

If you think the WCA is no better, or even worse, then it’s very important that the DWP can’t get away with claiming that thanks to the changes they have put in place, claimants are now much happier with the system.

Or you may think some things have got better, such as communication by decision makers for example, whilst other things have not, such as the opportunity to have your medical recorded.

Even if you have had only one WCA, your views as to how the Assessment can be improved are vitally important.


There’s a problem

Unfortunately, Harrington’s team have not made it easy to respond to the latest call for evidence. The ‘survey’ is a list of questions at the end of a .pdf document, which claimants have to try to copy and paste or retype in order to take part.

You can download the full call to evidence from

To make it as easy as possible for you to give evidence, the Benefits and Work web site has created both a Text Version and an Online version of the Questionnaire.

Text version

The questions have been reproduced in a text document which you should be able to type your answers into and then either email as an attachment to Harrington or copy and paste into an email.

The text document is at


Online questionnaire

Alternatively, the questions can be answered an online questionnaire. You can complete this and have your answers emailed back to you. If you’re happy with these answers you can then forward the email to Harrington’s team as your response.

If you use the online questionnaire, there are some points to remember:

  • You MUST forward your results email to Professor Harrington at if you want him to see it – the filled-in online questionnaire is only sent to you.
  • You have 20 MINUTES to complete the questionnaire before the session ends. If you need to type long answers to some of the questions you may prefer to use the Text version.
  • There is a maximum limit of 2,000 characters for each of the boxes, again if you’ve lots to say, use the Text version.

The online questionnaire is at



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