This week, up to 7,000 existing incapacity benefit (IB) claimants will receive letters they have been dreading; asking them to be re-assessed for their benefit. While the mainstream media went with the 'benefit crackdown' angle on this, the reality for the majority of claimants is somewhat different. Legitimate claimants are worried that they will be wrongly assessed as fit for work, which will lead to them losing out on the benefits on which they rely. The re-assessment is completed through the new work capability assessment (WCA). This has been unpopular from the get-go, even after Professor Malcolm Harrington's independent review, which brought some changes. Many still view it as flawed, saying that it often lacks the sophistication to take into account conditions that fluctuate. Mental health charities especially have highlighted this. But despite these continued protestations, the government has pressed ahead with its plans. It is interesting that this has been rolled out one whole working day after the pilots in Burnley and Aberdeen closed. I thought that the idea of a pilot was to run it, then take time to assess its effectiveness, and then make any necessary changes to the scheme, before rolling it out nationally. Apparently not. While the Department for Work and Pensions did release its interim findings in January, surely deeper thought about the WCA was needed? Whatever the reasons for the haste in implementing this change - a feeling persists that it is driven by the cuts agenda, although the government has consistently denied this - many people are set to lose out on some of the benefit money they receive. Jobseeker's allowance (JSA) can be up to £30 a week less than incapacity benefit, depending on which rate of IB or JSA is claimed. Moving 30% of people (taking the pilot results as a national indicator) onto JSA from IB could save hundreds of millions a year. But moving people onto JSA wouldn't be so much of a problem if the jobs were there for people to take up. They aren't. With some 2.5 million currently out of work and with more to come as a result of cutbacks in the public sector, add in several hundred thousand former IB claimants, and the total could well rise to over 3 million. With economic growth slow to static, many employers are not recruiting and those that are, are bombarded with applications. Competition is increasingly fierce and, given the prejudice that people with learning disabilities already face in the workplace, their chances of getting a job diminish further. As a result of all this, more people with learning disabilities will end up in poverty, which will only have a detrimental effect on them and their families. Hardly helping the vulnerable, is it?