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New tool to improve disability benefits test

Benefits assessors are introducing a new tool we helped develop to improve tests for out-of-work benefits.

Since we launched MS:Enough in 2015, what you’ve told us about your experiences has shaped our calls for a welfare system that makes sense. So we were delighted to hear this new tool to help assessors consider changing symptoms is being rolled out.

What does the new guide do to improve assessment?

Assessors for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will now all be given a guide and additional training on fluctuating conditions, like MS. The guide will be in assessment rooms to prompt assessors to ask more questions about how your condition changes.

Much needed common-sense change

Many of you have regularly told us that tests for disability benefits don’t consider how MS changes over time and day to day. 45% of you who responded to our MS:Enough survey and had been through the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) disagreed that it took into account how your symptoms fluctuate.

How we helped make sure assessors consider fluctuating symptoms We have continuously called on the Government and assessment providers to improve. We were involved in designing this guide and getting it introduced and have reviewed the new training materials. We hope this will mean assessors think more about how MS changes and help make sure you can get the support you need. Get involved to make welfare make sense We’ll be keeping an eye on the effect the tool has and how it’s used. But we know there’s more to do. More changes are needed to make welfare make sense for people with MS. We need to keep campaigning to get them.

Photo: Jayne helped us call for a welfare system that makes sense. She has MS and waited 7 months to get a face-to-face assessment for PIP.

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Urgent appeal: Help us be there for everyone with MS

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