Inquiry probes widespread dishonesty claims by DWP assessors

Medical assessment

Too many decisions are being overturned leading to widespread criticism of how assessments are managed  

11th October 2017 by Robert Armour 9 Comments

An inquiry has been launched by MPs into why so many disability benefit decisions are being overturned on appeal.

The investigation by the Commons work and pensions select committee will also examine claims of dishonesty among healthcare professionals who carry out assessments on behalf of the government.

MPs will probe how the assessment procedure for PIP and employment and support allowance (ESA) are being handled by the private sector contractors Atos, Capita and Maximus.

Some 65% of appeals that reach the tribunal stage are successful for both PIP and ESA, while the number of appeals had risen by nearly 30% in the last year.

A previous evidence session heard claims of widespread dishonesty among assessors who have been known to be working towards targets to get people off disability benefits.  

Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, said: “Quite apart from the human cost this represents – the distress and difficulty for applicants trying to get help with daily living or getting into work – it looks to be wasteful, inefficient, and a huge cost to taxpayers.”

It comes as Maximus, one of the biggest contractors working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, announced that its contract to deliver the work capability assessment – which assesses eligibility for ESA – had been extended by the government by a further two years, until March 2020.

Comments

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12th October 2017 by Brian Slee

Amazing how the assesor finds the cure for degenerative condition Only gets wors but it got better according to capita and dwp

12th October 2017 by Carole evans

Being one off the thousands off disabled persons suffering I really do hope and pry the government do the right thing for all that have been victim to that ordeal

12th October 2017 by steve

I have been waiting for my second assessment letter .the first one I didn't get one point .not one.in have ciatica and spondilosus of the spine .I get numb feet .my back muscle tenses up so its painful to bend .I carnt lift anything .I have a problem with my right hand it too goes numb.it's really bad in winter .as I can feel cold much quicker now I'm 52 not too.old but the cold dose make a difference to my back .my.legs .neak .I do push through pain .and I try not to let it rule my.life not working so far .I'd like a relationship but I don't want be looked after .my family already do a lot for me .I wasn't surprised to know I hadn't passed with wot I had read already but I had an idea I would get it our ruled with tribunal witch it didn't get that far esa sent me a letter saying with the descriptors I had .they had enough not to take it further.but their are quite a few more descriptors not taken into acout .I'm in the eas support group but I don't attend their nothing doctors can do for my condition so ive bin told .it is degenerative .I have slowly got worse .has as the pain .but I take enough tablets to rattle lol .so I'm now just waiting for esa to send for me or cross over to pip witch I dought il get that w with out a fight .it took.me five years to get my esa back I was told I needed the hospital notes .of witch I paid for .I went to c a benefits solicitor she said with out dought I will pass .I did .so I'm.now just waiting for my letter from esa again .c wot other lise the come up with .

12th October 2017 by Noon

Usually with dwp. A Was assessed for pip which I got then esa assessments gave no points yet assessing was basic the exact same testing .and and without recourse lying about the people. A absolute farce . No wonder people are getting worse with stress ect .with the assessors just lying about the client and the dwp.believing them without question.

12th October 2017 by Matthew youll

They are using nurses who were made resident from Hospitals closing down in the north east, they work 0 hours contract work and are given targets to get has Many of people off sicnese benefit. Iam a retired nurse with Mental Health and scored 0 pionts with D.W.P. Drs sick notes, even Hospital appiontments do not count so who do you turn to for help? before 51

12th October 2017 by Karen

I am receiving PIP and ESA. I was awarded my PIP initially with out many problems in 2014. Last yr when it was renewed, I got my care awarded but not my mobility. I wrote a letter explaining why it didn't make sense to have 1 n not the other. I was then awarded both for 10 yrs. At the beginning of this yr my mobility go worse so much so I have a commode for upstairs, my toilet nd bathroom are downstairs. And I know need a wheelchair outside the house. I rang PIP to tell them my mobility had changed and I was sent for another face to face assessment. It was here my problems started, I took a friend with me for assistance, and she stayed with me during my interview. When I received my assessment letter, they had taken points away for dressing n undressing. Plus mobility points. When I read through what the DM had to say it was clear to me that the assessor had lied. He said I had stood up n walked a short distance and also completed straight leg raises, which I didn't do either. I then submitted an MRI report that I'd had done in May, which the assessors obviously didn't understand. I was told after my mandatory reconsideration there was no change, I sent papers to tribunal service. Within a week I had a phone call to say my points were to be reinstated, and obviously backdated. I'm so glad that this finally being noted and at least looked into, I already feel like a 2nd class person without being treat like 1.

12th October 2017 by CORNELIUS DOHERTY

I GOT PUT OF ESA AT ASSESSMENT, THEN HAD TO APPEAL. .THEY PUT ME BACK ON AS I AM MENTALLY ILL BUT FOR 7 WEEKS I WAS GETTING £44 A WEEK ..I WAS SO CLOSE TO KILLING MYSELF .

13th October 2017 by Andrea

My son who has Autism and Learning Disabilities was told that he doesn't appear to have any cognitive disabilities. Wow!! He has been cured!

13th October 2017 by Mrs Elizabeth Murphy

Would Frank Field like to take my case up please. I emailed my local Sefton MP and got no reply as to needing help for my ESA that's been stopped since the 17th of August. So this gave me no confidence in my mp thank you