By John Pring in Disability News Service.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is facing questions over why it failed to release the results of a pilot project that was supposed to correct a fatal flaw in its “fitness for work” test.
DWP had promised a judge that the pilot project would test ways of making the work capability assessment (WCA) safer for claimants with mental health conditions and learning difficulties, by ensuring that the necessary medical evidence was collected from their healthcare professionals.
Many disabled people claiming out-of-work disability benefits have been unable to prove they could not work because the WCA process has been focused on an unfair and discriminatory face-to-face assessment, and they were unable to provide enough written evidence to back up their cases.
Ministers promised a tribunal appeal hearing two years ago that they would carry out the pilot project, but nine months after it ended they do not appear to have passed on its findings to the lawyers representing the two disabled people who took the long-running legal case, or even informed them that the pilot project had finished.
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