Press Release: MP sends Minister speech before debate on ‘Fit for Work’ test.
- Debate on Work Capability Assessment Mandatory Reconsideration Delays at 10.00pm on Monday 16 June 2014
- Sheila Gilmore’s speech sent to Minister responsible this afternoon
- Minister can have no excuses for not answering questions
In advance of a debate on the Government’s controversial ‘Fit for Work’ test, Work and Pensions Select Committee member Sheila Gilmore today took the unusual step of emailing an advance copy of her speech to the Minister due to respond, Mike Penning.
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) provides support for people who cannot work due to a health condition or disability, but since it replaced Incapacity Benefit in 2008, many people have been incorrectly assessed as fit for work and refused benefit. A new two-part appeals process was introduced in October 2013, with claimants’ cases first having to go through ‘mandatory reconsideration’ by a DWP official before reaching a judge.
Sheila Gilmore said:
Today I have taken the unusual step of emailing a copy of my speech for an upcoming debate to Mike Penning, the Minister due to speak for the Government. Now he can have no excuse for not answering the important questions I intend to put to him.
Commenting on the issues raised in her speech, Sheila Gilmore said:
I regularly meet sick and disabled people who are unable to work but who have been declared fit to do so following a flawed ESA assessment.
In my debate I’m going to focus on the new mandatory reconsideration process, introduced in October last year. I’m going to highlight the fact many people are left without any benefits payments during this period, the regular ten week waits for decisions, and the lack of official statistics on outcomes.
Notes to Editors:
- See the email Sheila Gilmore sent to Mike Penning here: Speech for Debate on Work Capability Assessments Mandatory Reconsideration Delays
- This ESA informal appeal process is known as ‘reconsideration’, and involves people who have been found ‘Fit for Work’ asking DWP civil servants to look at their cases again. If the decision remains the same then claimants can lodge a formal appeal with HM Courts and Tribunal Service.
- Clause 99, Catch 22 and Penning is telling lies