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DWP WCA Maximus contract statement: Our response

31 October 2014

Disability Rights UK receives huge numbers of distressed calls and emails complaining about both the content and the process of the Work Capability Assessment.

We campaign vigorously on the policy – we believe it needs radical reform, since many people find it dehumanising and traumatic.

With a process that affects literally millions of disabled people, using half a billion of public money, we also believe strongly that whatever the policy, disabled people should receive completely independent, high quality information on their rights in relation to the Work Capability Assessment; and be met by an assessment process that knows how to treat disabled people, to make adjustments and to respect our rights.

We have therefore held discussions with several companies including Maximus to urge all of them to put priority on independent information on rights, and improved accessibility. No work has been agreed at this point. If DR UK were to be involved it would only be to ensure independent information on rights, and training to improve accessibility – not any involvement in the assessments (which we disagree with).

Where DR UK does engage in work with any company we insist that we will always speak openly and strongly to protest against breaches of people's rights. We only enter into contracts with organisations on the understanding that we will campaign both on policy and on practice and will tell it as we find it. Our Board is stringent on this point.

Our mission is to improve disabled people's rights

The full DWP press release can be read on their website.