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A new user-led report aims to focus blame for the “national scandal” of the work capability assessment (WCA) away from the government contractor Atos Healthcare and towards the “culture of contempt” that lies at the heart of the test.

benefits.Assessing the Assessors is based on the responses of nearly 900 people who replied to aquestionnaire about their experiences of the WCA, which tests eligibility for out-of-work disability 

While still being critical of Atos and its staff, the report reveals how claimants are treated in theassessment process and what impact the WCA has on their lives.

It is the latest in a series of reports that have been researched and written by disabled campaigners, exposing the harsh realities of the coalition’s welfare reforms and their impact on disabled people.


sponsored programme of human rights abuse of disabled people, ill people and carers.”“The scale, severity and persistence of wrongdoing indicate a massive and ongoing State-

 own figures, is only 0.7 per cent.It adds: “The entire process and attitude of officials and the media they brief, make people feel likecriminals. This is particularly damaging for people with mental health issues. Fraud, by the DWP’s 

 
reassessments are “wasteful, damaging and are used punitively”, while the WCA makes healthconditions or impairments worse and even causes deaths.The report concludes that the WCA process is “abusive” and “repetitive” and that mandatory 

 Four-fifths of those who responded said the assessment was “not conducted in a fair and humanemanner”.

 And another said: “I feel this process caused my illness to worsen and last longer. If I was giventhe correct help I believe I would be back at work by now. I’ve been made to feel like a criminal.”

 A third respondent said: “This process was terrifying, humiliating and degrading, I was treatedappallingly, it was made obvious that I was not believed in anything I said and I felt suicidalleaving.”

 afterwards”.Another said the assessor “caused such pain that I was almost totally unable to walk for two days 

 reacted to them which felt humiliating – it was just awful.”through the whole interview. [The assessor] demanded to see my self injury scars and then visibly One said the assessment was the “worst thing I have ever experienced. I had a panic attack 

 The report is filled with comments from disabled people who took part in the survey.

 It says the WCA reports are “woefully inaccurate”, and are influenced by a system “that wants tosave money and meet targets”.

 discriminates against disabled people and appears to promote unprofessional activity on the part ofassessors and to cause hardship and poverty.The report concludes that the assessment is “abusive”, “disrespectful”, “callous and inhumane”,

 Of the 884 respondents to the questionnaire who were assessed through a WCA, 95 per cent saidthe assessment had damaged their health, with nearly a third reporting “severe damage”.

 Thomas, and The Centre for Welfare Reform, which published the report.The four were supported by the comedian, investigative journalist and political activist Mark 

 It has been written by Rick Burgess, Jane Bence and Wayne Blackburn, three disabled people whowere formerly part of the WOW petition campaign and have now – together with lawyer andbenefits expert Nick Dilworth, their co-author - set up the campaigning organisation NewApproach, which is dedicated to scrapping the WCA and developing a replacement.

 It is the latest in a series of reports that have been researched and written by disabledcampaigners, exposing the harsh realities of the coalition’s welfare reforms and their impact ondisabled people.

 While still being critical of Atos and its staff, the report reveals how claimants are treated in theassessment process and what impact the WCA has on their lives.

benefits.Assessing the Assessors is based on the responses of nearly 900 people who replied to aquestionnaire about their experiences of the WCA, which tests eligibility for out-of-work disability 

 
assessment (WCA) away from the government contractor Atos Healthcare and towards the “cultureof contempt” that lies at the heart of the test.A new user-led report aims to focus blame for the “national scandal” of the work capability 

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