Ritchie Calls For Improvements To Work Capability Assessments


SOUTH Down MP Margaret Ritchie has called for more fairness with work capability assessments for those with progressive illnesses.

[caption id="attachment_31875" align="alignright" width="120"]South Down MP Margaret Ritchie. South Down MP Margaret Ritchie.[/caption]

Ms Ritchie has said improvements need to be made to recognise the progressive nature of certain illnesses when calling claimants back for further assessments.

Ms Ritchie stated: “It is important that common sense is used in the work capability assessments for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) when dealing with claimants who have progressive conditions, including Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis or Cystic Fibrosis. In many cases people with these conditions have been told that they could recover enough to return to work, and the assessments can place them under further stress and worry.

“I have written to the Department for Work and Pensions and the Social Security Agency as I believe it is vital that new arrangements are put in place for people with degenerative conditions. It is intolerable that they are made to feel pressurised with repeat assessments.”