September 2013 Work Capability Assessments & Mental Health

02/09/2013

A recent judicial review found that the Work Capability assessment process places claimants with mental health problems at a substantial disadvantage because of the failure to obtain further medical evidence at an early stage.

It held that the Secretary of State was under an obligation to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to remedy that.  Rather than require the DWP to seek further medical evidence in every case, the judgement directs the Department of Works & Pensions (DWP) to investigate how to implement changes so that decision makers are required to consider the need for further medical evidence in mental health cases and justify a decision not to seek further evidence.  Note: the Secretary of State intends to appeal this decision.

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