Jun 092016

Have you, or someone you know, with an “unseen” chronic illness been through the Work Capability Assessment (WCA)?


As part of a health psychology research project, we would like to know your experiences of the process (regardless of the assessment’s outcome), as well as the day-to-day effect of your condition.


An unseen or “invisible” condition could be any chronic condition which is not visible to others. Examples could include: MS, fibromyalgia, asthma, arthritis, heart problems, diabetes or gastrointestinal issues.


The study involves a semi-structured, informal interview and an optional section around photographs – talking about photographs, taken by you, which you feel represent the day-to-day effect of your condition and your experiences of the WCA.


If you would be interested in finding out more, please do contact William Day via email (dayw@aston.ac.uk) or telephone (0121 204 4050).


The study is based in Birmingham/the West Midlands area, however we are keen to travel and meet with any interested individuals at locations convenient to them. Alternatively, discussions can take place via any internet messaging programs.

This study has been approved by the Aston University Research Ethics Committee.



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 Posted by at 16:19

  5 Responses to “WCA and non visible impairment, illness..?”

  1. I had an ESA assessment yesterday. I had more than adequate letters and all the rest of it to point at ‘not fit’.
    My GP had provided a fantastic amount of detail that, I really wasn’t expecting. I took with me a letter from the hospital confirming EDS and all the problems I’d been having. However, there were a couple of things I couldn’t respond to – due to waiting either for blood test results coming back from the hospital to my GP and a now much anticipated appt with an endocrinologist, plus a dermatology appt in the wings, plus a gastrology appt that was recently cancelled until September. Everything was going well (and my stammer didn’t fail me too much either!) and then the question: “So, how long have you had this lifelong condition?”
    cue that moment of awkward silence and the moment the assessor realised she’d shot herself in the foot!
    She even skipped the physical elements because she’d got all she needed in writing that I’m a vomit risk if I bend over and that I can’t lie flat as I’d probably choke on my own stomach contents. All in all, I didn’t go alone and I was armed to the teeth. Heck, I’ll even go as far as having my MP make sure I had this appointment!!!
    I was told I’d probably hear in about three weeks time.
    I have missed two assessment dates: one was for 3rd September – which I only found out about a week after the appointment. Then another claim went in and due to the crap quality of the paper with the appointment on, I thought it said ‘8th’ January… it was the 6th. Got my MP involved and I went until April without money – and I’d been told to claim PIP – which I did. It was successful. Without it, I would’ve been evicted due to arrears to the council. I paid them off and I paid off my other debts. But living off £220 isnt a lot each month, and just recently, the council asked me what I was surviving on and wanted three months of bank statements (I gave them 5 – to prove the hell I’d gone through.) and asked if I’d considered claiming ESA.
    So all that proof went off and that’s kept them quiet. Now that lull before I find out. I have gone without ESA payments from Sept 29th 2015 until the present day. Again, it’s why I got my MP involved. I just pray to some deity out there that some common sense eeks its way through and if nothing else, I at least get the basic pre-assessment rate…. it’s been hell this year. Especially the one cold night I had no electricity because I had no money and I’d already had one gas/elec voucher (£20) and couldn’t get another.
    We’re targeted for sure. Nobody else other than us puts up with so much abuse on a govt scale.

    • what a horrific time you’ve had. you’ve explained it so well here. thankyou for sharing that. somehow it gives courage to others who will go thro this that it is possible to survive it and WIN! i agree with you that we are a targeted soft section for the govt to take money back from. and noone else would put up with it. but i dont think a lot of us do either now. there’s DPAC to help us and Benefit and Work who give out helpful information. not everyone would think to get the support of their MP. that was great thinking and gives the rest of us useful info as all of us will face testing, sanctioning, cuts etc all of which are totally unjust. the medical assessments have been proven to be designed to get as many people off benefit as poss – not to help them. yet why they remain in place i cant understand. has someone not tried suing the govt?? you would if it were a company at fault. take good care. thanks again for sharing this.

  2. I have PCS, PTSD, Anxiety & Depression. Do they qualify?

    • best see a welfare rights officer first and he/she will help you fill in the form to apply for benefits. chat with your dr and any other medical professionals/councillors you’ve had, to make sure you have their support should you need to ask for it in writing.

  3. If anyone is experiencing a bounce back from the email address, please do try dayw@aston.ac.uk (as opposed to co.uk).

    Apologies for the inconvenience!

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