Do you want to give your thoughts on the WCA?

Would you be interesting in sharing your views on the WCA and conditionality, to help the Rethinking Incapacity project?

As part of my research, I’m speaking to different groups of people about what they think of the current system, and how they think it should be changed – including disabled and non-disabled members of the public, Maximus assessors, welfare-to-work providers, charities & think-tanks, and politicians. This will feed into my upcoming final Demos report to be sent to policymakers, as well as later academic & wider publications.

As part of this I’m keep to speak to DPOs and other disability campaigners, who are obviously a crucial voice to hear strongly. I am therefore holding a small group discussion on Friday 24th March:

  • The discussion will include up to 12 people.
  • We will be talking about your views of the current WCA & conditionality regime, how a few hypothetical people should be treated, and how the system should be reformed more broadly
  • It will be at 12-3pm in central London (I’ll pass on the venue for people who are confirmed attendees).
  • We will pay a per diem of £60, as well as reasonable travel costs within London.

If you would be interested in taking part or have any questions about this, then please get in touch with me (b.b.geiger@kent.ac.uk) ASAP – and many thanks in advance for your help!

Ben Baumberg Geiger

Are disability assessments associated with adverse trends in mental health? A longitudinal ecological study

This is the title of a study that was recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (JECH) by Ben Barr and colleagues, which generated a considerable amount of press and political attention last week. Because I’m working with government at the moment I can’t really comment on the study right now, but rest assured I will in April when I’m back in my usual role again – and I have a loose agreement with the journal (JECH) to write a commentary on the piece too. In the meantime, the article itself is open access, and you can read it yourself here.

A (temporary) change to the Rethinking Incapacity blog

The blog is temporarily changing, and I thought it was important to be clear to people that read the blog (you!) about what’s going on.

As of last month (Sep 2015), I am working part-time with the Department of Work and Pensions.  While I’m at the DWP, this means that I can’t publicly comment on issues around the WCA etc. Which will be a bit of a change! However, the blog will continue, focusing more on the latest policy-related research than on policy itself. Continue reading

Spartacus on the Budget and ESA WRAG

A quick post just to note that the Spartacus coalition of disability activists has released a couple of short notes in response to the Budget’s cut in the rate paid to ESA WRAG claimants from April 2017 (which I wrote about here):

  • Spartacus’ general critique of the policy is here
  • What I found particularly useful though was their clear description of who is in the ESA WRAG, including some vignettes of real people’s lives – which is in this note

Linking to these means neither that I agree or disagree with the documents, as always when linking. But I do think that if you’re reading this blog, you should read them!

Rethinking the Work Capability Assessment – new Demos report

Our report Rethinking the Work Capability Assessment has just been released by Demos today.  You can find the summary of the report here, and the full report here.

A blog post was published on The Conversation alongside the launch (and republished on the project blog here).  This is just the first output of the project – if you want to discuss this with us, please do get in touch!