The Commons Work and Pensions Committee holds an open meeting on Monday 7 March in Burnley to hear the views of the public on the migration of people currently claiming incapacity benefit to the new Employment and Support Allowance.
The process is being piloted in the Burnley area. The Committee is particularly keen to hear the views of people who have been through the assessment process.
People claiming incapacity benefit will undergo a work capability assessment (WCA) to assess whether they are fit for work or need to continue to claim benefits which reflect their limited capacity to work.
Trials of the reassessment process began on 11 October 2010, in Burnley and Aberdeen. The Government's objective is for national rollout of the new scheme by April.
This means that over the next three years, 1.5 million people will go through the WCA to determine whether they are eligible for the replacement benefit, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Dame Anne Begg, Chair of the Committee said:
"We want to encourage as many of those who have been affected by this change, and their families and friends who may have been affected too, to come along to our meeting and air their views.
The Committee has heard many concerns, particularly from disabled people who are currently claiming incapacity benefit, about their experiences of this assessment. We are therefore keen to get out of Westminster and see how the pilot is working on the ground.
The Government has an ambitious timetable to roll out these changes nationally, so it is important that we understand how well the pilots have really worked. We cannot afford to get this wrong."
Details of the meeting
- 2pm, Monday 7 March 2011
- Burnley Football Club, Turf Moor, Harry Potts Way, Burnley BB10 4BX