Thankfully it’s been a long time since I had to fill out those Welfare Claim/Capability for Work forms that you get from the DWP (social security) here in the UK. However, there might be gentle readers of this blog who still have to go through that Orwellian nightmare.

Here is a very simple hack that I have recently been made aware of through the DPAC campaigning group. It sounds like a small thing, but believe me it can save you a lot of hassle.

The UK DWP has recently changed its guidelines indicating that it will contact your personal doctor/GP/health team if you have failed your social security assessments, or have been kicked off the program. The DWP asks your health professional not to submit any more sick notes or medical information on your behalf.

As you can see this is entirely punitive. Benefits assessors are not the same as Doctors or Consultants, and they probably do not have specialist experience in your disability. Both Capita and Atos (the health assessment companies used by the DWP) give their assessors targets to fail a percentage of claimants. There are many reasons you might fail a DWP assessment – maybe you were too ill to attend the appointment, or are too ill to attend the mandatory ‘wellbeing classes’ provided by the DWP. Luckily however, your medical information and the doctor/patient relationship is still regarded as a right in this country.

On your ESA50 form, there is a section called ‘Other Information’ in that section you need to write the following:

I DO NOT consent/agree to my doctor or any doctor treating me,
being informed about the Secretary of State’s determination on
– limited capability for work
– limited capability for work-related activity
or being sent a summary of the Limited Capability for Work Assessment.

and on the end-of-form Declaration (“all the above is true and correct…” etc) you need to strike-out/black mark the bit that goes:

“I agree to my doctor or any doctor treating  me, being informed about the Secretary of State’s determination on
– limited capability for work
– limited capability for work-related activity, or
– both.”

There you go – you now get to have your doctor concentrating on your health, and nothing else 🙂

 

 

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