When Atos walked away from its contract to carry out Work Capability Assessments, the government needed to find a replacement. Today (29 October 2014) it was announced that the contract has been awarded to Maximus. Only time will tell of course, but for many disabled people the initial reaction may be, ‘out of the frying pan and into the fire’.
Thousands of people unable to work because of progressive conditions are being placed in a work-related activity group, even if assessors admit they are unlikely ever to recover, the UK government admitted.
In an important new paper from the Centre for Wefare Reform (http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org), leading independent disability campaigner Kaliya Franklin, part of the Spartacus network, carefully analyses how government policy has undermined the objectivity of the medical assessments on sick and disabled people used by the private medical firm ATOS.
As sick and disabled people suffer distress and poverty they really need people of faith not to pass by on the other side of the road. So it was heartening when on 28 September 2013, the Dean of St Paul’s joined grassroots campaigners to demand an end to Work Capability Assessments and a New deal for sick and disabled people, as called for by the WOW petition.