Trapped in a cycle of debt and poor health

Protest against work capability assessments in London, 2013. Baroness Hollins, Baroness Manzoor, Lord Ramsbotham and Rev Paul Nicolson say ministers must answer growing concerns about the link between debt and ill health [Image: Peter Marshall/Demotix/Corbis].

To the fully justified concerns that the work capability assessment process is severely damaging mental health, provided by the peer review study from the University of Liverpool (Letters, 24 November), can be added the profound concerns about the link between debt and mental illness highlighted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, along with the poor maternal nutrition, low birth weight and developmental brain disorders in children highlighted by the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition. It is also important to provide minimum incomes needed for healthy living, in both work and unemployment, and to address the 17-year gap in expectation of life between the most deprived areas of the UK and the richest (Opinion, 30 November).

Ministers at the Department for Work and Pensions will have an opportunity to answer all these concerns when responding on Monday to Lord Ramsbotham’s amendments to the welfare reform and work bill, which require the secretary of state to report to parliament on the impact of benefit sanctions on the mental and physical health of men, women and children in workless households, and in working households of incomes below the national minimum wage.
Baroness Hollins, Baroness Manzoor, Lord Ramsbotham, Rev Paul Nicolson

Source: Trapped in a cycle of debt and poor health | Letters | Politics | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Trapped in a cycle of debt and poor health

  1. casalealex

    Catherine West
    Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

    To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current average waiting time is for a workplace capability assessment.

    Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 3 December 2015, cW)

    Priti Patel
    Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)

    Official statistics for the current average waiting times for a Work Capability Assessment are not readily available and to provide the information requested would incur disproportionate cost.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      They always say that at first.
      After Mrs Mike appealed against being put in the Work-Related Activity Group of ESA, it took the DWP two years to do another WCA – and the Department tried to throw her off-benefit first. In the end, she didn’t even have to attend; the assessment was done on paper and into the Support Group she went.

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