Welfare to Work, Work Capability Assessment

– Latest Work Capability Assessment report: increase in numbers deemed Fit for Work

This report is the latest data on ESA claims in England, Scotland and Wales and is an update to the previously published statistics released in October 2009, January 2010 and April 2010.

This report is based on the final decision made by DWP rather than ATOS Healthcare’s recommendation.

We recently reported on ATOS and HERE

ATOS Healthcare undertake an assessment and their recommendation is passed to DWP to make a final decision on the claimant’s ESA status. The recommendation will be one of the following:

  • Support Group (severe disabilities) – they receive a higher rate of benefit entitlement and exemption from mandatory involvement with Pathways to Work;
  • Work Related Activity Group – They receive a higher rate of benefit than those on JSA and are mandated to engage with Pathways to Work; and,
  • Fit for Work – The ESA claim is ceased but individuals can ask for a reconsideration or appeal if they disagree with the decision.

If someone is found Fit for Work by DWP they are no longer entitled to claim ESA. However, they may ask for a reconsideration and then may appeal against the DWP decision.

Interestingly, a large proportion of people claiming ESA cease their claim before assessment is complete (for example, if they have a short term health condition).


WCA results for all ESA Claims
For all new ESA claims from October 2008 to November 2009 (breakdown of DWP decision at initial assessment by the end of May 2010):

  • Support Group – 6%
  • Work Related Activity Group -14%
  • Fit for Work – 39%
  • Claim CLOSED before assessment complete – 37%
  • Assessment still in progress – 4%

WCA results for all completed assessments
For all completed initial assessments (not including assessments still in progress or people who left ESA before completing assessment) to the end of May 2010 the breakdown of DWP decision at initial assessment is as follows:

  • Support Group – 10%
  • Work Related Activity Group – 24%
  • Fit for Work – 66%

WCA Appeals

Of people who made a claim for ESA between October 2008 and June 2009 and who were found Fit for Work at assessment, 32% have had an appeal heard by Tribunals Service to date. The original decision made by DWP has been confirmed for 60% of these appeals heard.

See the full report….


  1. The oft-quoted 40% success rate in appeals seems to be a bit of a red herring from what I have read. Atos aren’t paid to get all assessments correct. All they do is interview people, asking a set list of questions and then pass the results on to the DWP. As far as I know, they didn’t create the list of questions either. I assume the DWP created the question set but I could be wrong – it might be interesting to find out though.

  2. Atos have only got 60% of their assessments correct, that is a terrible set of statistics for a publicly funded private company to achieve, in any other walks of business life their contract would be terminated.

    Atos healthcare and the coalition have set out to target the sick and disabled because their an easy target, they use the media to malign such groups of people.

    Even supposed experts have had grave doubts about the current system, Prof Paul Gregg has said that the WCA assessments are not fit for purpose and are targetting the wrong people, people are actually losing monies they should be getting.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

twitter link Facebook link Linked in

Subscribe here


twitter link Facebook link

Featuring Recent Posts WordPress Widget development by YD