Scores of zero points on Work Capability Assessment

Christopher Connolly made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Christopher Connolly

Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

What proportion of Employment and Support Allowance decisions following a Work Capability Assessment result in a score of zero points?

Yours faithfully,

Christopher Connolly

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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P. Wilkinson left an annotation ()

If they answer truthfully (and that is the question)it will probably show that the majority of people get this result. See link

It was a pity only the Socialist printed this story, it should have been much bigger.

J Newman left an annotation ()

Hi. The points total can be misleading. A decision-maker recently told me that as the only issue is 15 points or above, accuracy against each descriptor is unimportant. Also at the end of an appeal, the TS awarded me 15 and when I asked what the actual total was, they too said it didn't matter if it was higher. So it is quite likely that the majority of scores logged are either 15 or 0 with few other numbers appearing. Personally I think this is wasting a valuable source of information and that scores should be aggregated properly and recorded accurately.

Christopher Connolly left an annotation ()

I do sometimes see scores of 6 or 12 points given by DMs but, in the cases I see, zero is more usual. It would be interesting to know whether more than 50% score zero, which wouldn't surprise me.

Because there is such a big backlog of appeals, the tribunals just don't have the time, unfortunately, to carry on counting after they have got to 15. In any case it wouldn't really be within their remit. The decision under appeal is not how many points were awarded but whether someone is or is not entitled to ESA and, if so, whether they are in the WRAG or the support group.

Once the decision has been overturned the tribunal has no licence to go on accumulating points since the total, as long as it's greater than 15, is irrelevant to whether or not the decision under appeal was correct.

It's a shame though, I agree.

DWP Adelphi Freedom-of-Information-Request, Department for Work and Pensions

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J Newman left an annotation ()

For scores less than 15, one would imagine a range from 0 upwards reflecting different degrees of impairment, so 75% with zero just does not ring true in any circumstances. No matter how bad the last regime was, it was not so bad as to treat so many people as ill when there was nothing wrong with them at all - Usain Bolt would score zero! This indicates scores are not accurately calculated and there is nothing in any of the guides/manuals that allows this to happen, so if it has it must be a staff disciplinary matter.