Today’s group focussed on how people deal with the benefit system and more specifically, ‘Work Capability Assessment’ interviews. At group sessions we often hear of how the current system invokes strong feelings of anxiety and sheer terror. With this in mind we thought it would be good to have a look at the different processes involved and the options people have.
Below is an example of the different stages involved upon receiving assessment letter;
- Attend ‘Work Capability Assessment’ interview
- You receive a letter from the DWP* informing you that you are not being awarded benefit.
- You disagree with their decision so respond by sending a ‘Mandatory consideration letter’ to inform the DWP* of your reasons for disagreeing with their decision to see if they will reconsider.
- If the response from the DWP* is that they are upholding their original decision you then have the option to appeal it and have your case taken to at an independent tribunal.
If you are feeling anxious it is so important to seek support.
Some of the suggested supports were,
- Citizen’s Advice Bureau
- The Advice Shop
- Turn 2 Us
- Christians Against Poverty
- Community On Stop Shop
Group members felt that having someone to help support them in filling in forms was extremely beneficial and relievied some of their anxiety. With no support it can literally feel like a real life or death situation with the looming uncertainty of having no income to survive. That is why it is so useful to have supportive people around you to help provide some hope for your future.
*’The Department of Work and Pensions*