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Views sought on Personal Capability Assessment process

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Social Security claimants who have undergone a Personal Capability Assessment (PCA) will be asked for their views of the experience as part of an independent review of the PCA process.  The review is being led by experienced healthcare professional John Lancaster.

The Personal Capability Assessment helps determine an individual’s potential to undertake some form of work and whether incapacity benefit is the most appropriate form of support for them.

The PCA process, formerly undertaken by Dependability Limited, is currently suspended and the opportunity is being taken to conduct an independent review of the system to identify potential improvements.

One of the most important parts of the review is seeking the views of people who have been through a PCA, regardless of the outcome of their assessment. Opinions will be gathered through questionnaires, telephone interviews and facilitated discussion groups.

The Treasury will be writing to a random selection of such individuals to request their agreement to take part in a telephone interview or discussion group. It will also send out a number of questionnaires that can be completed and returned anonymously.

No personal data will be shared without the explicit permission of the individual, and even then this will be limited to the specific information required to make contact. There will be absolutely no need for the customer to formally provide health or financial information.

Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan MHK said:

‘It is important that this review involves those members of the public most directly affected so that any future redesign of the PCA model is realistic, addresses specific issues, and provides better outcomes for those under assessment.’ 

Commenting on the review, Bill Henderson MLC, Treasury Member with responsibility for Social Security, said:

‘I would encourage anyone who is invited to contribute in any way to do so. As well as individuals who have undergone a PCA, we will also seek the views of clinicians, support services, the third sector and Members of Tynwald. We very much look forward to receiving their report.’

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