The WCA has been a disaster. Having been through the test myself I cannot see how it can ever be used to judge if a person is fit for work. The questions on the ESA50 equally have nothing to do with being capable of any work.
The most appalling questions are those which ask the following;
1). Can you reach with one hand to put a pen in your top pocket?
2). Can you lift some light such as an empty cardboard box?
3). Can you lift a 1 litre carton of liquid?
A person may be able to do any of these or indeed all of them but whether they can do them repeatedly, regularly and reliably is another matter. The next question that springs to mind is there a job our there where a person would be required to do such tasks all day every day? I have yet to see such a job specification.
The WCA needs to be a real world test with questions relating to safely traveling to work, if the person needs and special equipment if they were to be offered a job, can the person attend work every day, can they do all of the tasks that may be asked of them in the workplace, what sort of workplace would be best for them, what are their own qualifications, are they well enough to attend a training course to get new skills because their illness or disability would make it impossible to return to their previous type of employment.
It must be remembered that no matter how much we all want there to be equality for disabled people there are jobs that no matter their determination they simply cannot do. A blind person could be no more a heart surgeon than a person who loses a hand can be a bricklayer. It’s not what we all wish to hear but there are harsh realities that must be considered. No amount of laws can make a person suitable for a job which requires a certain level of skill, ability and knowledge when the person due to no fault of their own becomes sick or disabled is completely unsuitable to undertake.
The WCA needs to concern itself whether or not a person can attend and do a range of jobs. Narrowing the job range will be very upsetting for a person with a chronic illness or disbility; indeed being told you are fit for work but there is only one job you may be able to actually do is so rare that there is absolutely no chance of a person being able to take up such employment.
The rule regarding the time of being able to claim contribution based ESA is also very unfair and a person in their 50’s may become I’ll or disabled with 30+ years of contributions paid in good faith that should they fall on hard time then they will have their contributions as their safety net. To limit this to 365 days is a sin. The thing is a person is either sick or they are well, if they are sick then they are unfit to work if they are well then they should be looking for work. There is no halfway measure, the person would much rather be in work believe me.
The system is a basic start point but to ensure the reduction of appeals, which over 40% are won by the claimant, the number of people who die within weeks of being told they are fit for work, all of these things scream out that there is something by wrong with the way this WCA is undertaken, implemented, used, misused and with the various undercover investigations showing there is a quota system then it is easy to see the problems and the obvious solutions. As outlined above.