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News & Features

PIP Assessment Inquiry

Posted in General News on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

MPs have stated that the Department for Work and Pension’s (DWP) response to the most recent inquiry into the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment process falls short of requirements. Firstly, the Work and Pensions Select Committee recommended that the assessment process should be made more accessible and that the descriptors for each activity should be explained to the claimants. It was also recommended that claimants should receive their assessment report without having to ask for it. While the department agreed that more should be done to explain both the assessment process and the descriptors for each activity more clearly, the proposal to supply each claimant with a copy of their assessment report was rejected. This has led to concerns that public distrust in the PIP assessment process will continue to grow. The DWP also rejected the committee’s recommendation that an audit should be carried out on the process of granting home assessments including any reasons for refusal. This was once again seen as a decision which perpetuates the publics’ “lack of trust” in the assessment process. However, despite these apparent short comings, one of the major positives to come out of this inquiry was that the department agreed that all PIP assessments should be recorded as a matter of course.  Frank Field, the Chair of the Work and Pensions Select Committee, stated that the department’s pledge to record all PIP assessments was a “tremendous step forward” and that it would “go a long way” to building wider trust in the assessment process. Evidence of the current distrust in the system came from Philip Connolly, the Policy Manger for Disability Rights UK, who stated that he was disappointed that the DWP rejected the recommendation that all claimants should be sent a copy of their assessment report in the post because it would give people the chance to understand what has been written about them and why in relation to their PIP claims. Philip Connolly commented: “Overall, the current assessment providers offer poor value for money for the taxpayer and we urge the government to consider very seriously the option of returning the assessment process in house, given the contracts are up for review.”

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Marei Hughes 's Gravatar
Marei Hughes

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

My husband was awarded DLA indefinitely high rate on both, he has Secondary Progressive MS and COPD he switched to PIP and was awarded Standard rate for care and nothing for mobility. We are still in shock as the car that he relays on so much has to go back that’s him finished he says, he can’t even make it to our local park with the kids.... So know he has been put back in the wheelchair when he wants to go places instead of using the car and transport is a complete mess when going out. We also found out the assessor was a nurse her qualifications learning disabilities WTF has that got to do with neurological. They have stated that he can chop up veg, when he can’t feel the ends of his fingers, that he know about his condition ( I wounder what would Stephen hawking shave said if told the same) he can walk 200 meters ( I’d like to see that day) and that he looked well rested but at the assessment he fell asleep in the waiting room and he was on antibiotics for pneumonia. No breathless was present. Total waste of money in my opinion. We put in for a MR only to be told it was unsuccessful so tribunal it is then more waste of money.

Mike Brown's Gravatar
Mike Brown

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

Whilst the changes are welcome it comes as no surprise to me that they are not keen to let you see the report. In my associations with this assessment process it is very evident hat untruths are common place, and a lack of alacrity is almost essential. The process is not designed to help those who need this support, mort to ensure the maximum number of people do not get the benefit.

John Roberts's Gravatar
John Roberts

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

I have a genetic progressive condition for which there is no cure, so far so have had two face to face and one tribunal. When will they learn my situation will not get better?

Christine Hammonds's Gravatar
Christine Hammonds

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

It is indeed very disappointing that if assessments are to be recorded that under freedom of information surely the assessed person should have a right to view what is being written about them and try to understand judgements made about them. I would expect that these records will be electronically stored and therefore could be shared very easily. Surely it will be a stipulation in the tendering process for the new contract for assessment for PIP that the process should be transparent and the measures for assessment realistic to allow individuals to lead independent lives

Mervyn Wilmington's Gravatar
Mervyn Wilmington

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

I dealt with my wife's application for PIP as her appointee about 18 months ago. It was successful, but what a struggle. All told, I spent around 80 hours dealing with it. It wasn't just the application itself and the face to face assessment, but when there were complications leading up to the latter, the DWP did not speak to the assessor company, and vice versa. We had to relay messages between the two, trying to make progress. Moreover, trying to speak to the same person twice at DWP stood less chance than winning the lottery. In what was already a stressful time, we could have done without that nonsense. I don't think that the principle of PIP is wrong, but the arrangements and mechanics are what cause most mistrust.

Christine Hammonds's Gravatar
Christine Hammonds

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

If assessments are to be recorded then surely individuals must be given access to information stored about them. In the tendering process surely the transparency of process and sharing of judgements based on assessment must be included. I would urge ministers to also review the process of setting rigid targets to be assessed against as surely all individuals have specific needs and circumstances that do not neatly assess against a one measure fits all in order to try to lead independent lives with dignity.

Susan Ratcliffe's Gravatar
Susan Ratcliffe

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

I receive PIP having been re-assessed from D LA. I strongly agree that a copy of the report should be passed to me otherwise I would not be able to challenge anything the assessor has got wrong in the report which could affect whether I got the payment or not pot at what rate. Any appeal is doomed to failure without full disclosure of the facts. It wouldn't be allowed in a court of law.

J N Mark Lawson's Gravatar
J N Mark Lawson

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

The transition from DWP to PIP is a scandal similar in scale and import to the Windrush scandal. I won my appeal based on ATOS/Capita WILFULLY IGNORING the RELIABILITY CRITERIA which form part of the legislation. I raised the issue of reliability criteria as part of my mandatory reconsideration and was informed that the reconsideration was SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITED from considering those criteria! Since Windrush victims have now been promised compensation, I believe it is only right and proper those disadvantaged by the DLA>PIP transition should also receive compensation, preferably from ATOS/Capita, who have benefited from more than £500m in taxpayer cash by 'ignoring' the law to the detriment of those already suffering significant health issues. Rather like PPI, ATOS/Capita must now set aside significant extra funds to further compensate those who have incurred specific costs/expenses resulting from incorrect assessments and a similar system of legal assistance should be introduced to enable this.

keith nicholls's Gravatar
keith nicholls

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

I have nothing but anger for this government and the DWP for taking away the PIP benefit at the age of 67 thus I am of course a pensioner. I have muscular dystrophy, sleep apnia so I am connected up to a machine every night, arthritis in my neck and have to attend hospital every year and test my breatheing ability . So as I have been in work since 1966 and paid my N.I. do you think I am wrong in the way I feel towards these people, I am one of many people this government has discarded and think should not be helped. Sometimes I am ashamed to be English and there are many times I wish I was of a different nationalnality and of course there was nothing wrong with my health.

Hugh Laverty's Gravatar
Hugh Laverty

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

Good to hear assessments are being recorded. However, there will remain a general distrust of the whole assessment process. In particular the question of whether it is needed at all especially regarding lifelong disabilities with no realistic chance of improvement !

Khalid's Gravatar
Khalid

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

Why do they need to have profiteering companies like Capita to administer the assessments? In my view this company is completely incompetent. They are only milking the system because of their influence in government decisions. I am housebound and they did not attend the first appointment claiming that nobody answered the door. I had 2 people waiting to answer the door for me. They disallowed my claim for this reason. Thanks to my MP, I had a second assessment by a very incompetent person who only repeated the questions and answers from my claim form. She did not check any of the Living Aids that I have, I have had confirmation that P I P people have received their report And I will have to wait fo another 6 weeks for a decision. They could have easily got All the information they needed from the Hospital and my GP. I will not be surprised if I will be required to go through all this again!

Maria McGuire's Gravatar
Maria McGuire

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

Thanks for this opportunity to put forward my opinion of PIP. This group appears to operate like the MAFIA! The system is cruel, I just and degrading. The degrading methodology, insensitivity, lack of professional standIng and Transparency smacks of a dictatorship let loose only to inflict more hardship and increase overall suffering. Disabled People are being assessed by a panel who have no knowledge of the attendee's disability; I lady personally known to me who had polio as a child and wears a cast had an assessment of her mobility on a smooth corridor by a nurse. Distance was a few yards. She was passed as fit to walk NB only inside!! One of the panel fell fast asleep, snoring and the doctor had to physically prod her arm to waken her!!! Polio people DO NOT recover as their condition is progressive. It is a low motor neurone disability. THE PANEL did not know this or ignored this. She did not receive a verbal or written report as to why she was refussed her high rate of DLA. and so her car was taken from her. The car was her only means of transport for her to get to work in the NHS.!!!!!

Alan Freeman's Gravatar
Alan Freeman

Tuesday, May, 1st, 2018

Government rip of again

D J Smith's Gravatar
D J Smith

Wednesday, May, 2nd, 2018

If Doctors and Consultants copy me in on correspondence what is DWP problem? Does it mean they are hiding behind their decision so I as a the person begin assesed cannot challenge the outcome without jumping through hoops again. I should correct that I can't JUMP!!

Diane Green's Gravatar
Diane Green

Wednesday, May, 2nd, 2018

DWP text me to say they had my assessors report on 9th April. I have rung and requested a copy of it 5 times now and been told it is on case workers desk waiting to be sent out. I need the report to enable me to do a Mandatory Reconsideration. This has to be submitted one month within one month. I have complained and been told someone will ring me within 5 days to discuss.

Hazel Rutter's Gravatar
Hazel Rutter

Wednesday, May, 2nd, 2018

The only problems I had encountered was the huge amount of filling in, which with having Multiple Sclerosis (MS) I couldn't do. I had to in the end copy all the text! and then put in my answers! But having MS meant the whole procedure was like taking an examination for a degree which one did not even study! Yes I could put my answers, but had to ask for extra time I think 6 weeks in the end, and movement and thinking was very slowed and had to speak to my Possum Environmental Aid supplied by the Welsh office connected to my computer, but on days my speech is slowed due to my MS, often the Dragon speech did not put the correct word or just left blank! The text on your reports should be at least 14 for those of us who need an extra hight to our reading words.

Jillian Jones 's Gravatar
Jillian Jones

Wednesday, May, 9th, 2018

A Lady came to my house to interview me for the change too PIP, one of the questions was how far can you walk, I said to the gate then rest a bit then a couple of feet to the car, the distance between the door to the gate is 3 metres, she wrote 20 metres, I wish I could, when I was awarded DLA the first time I had the high rate for life & I got a mobility car too, the government gave me £2000 to bye a car we got a really nice one we thought! It turned out to be a money pit, its not very reliable at all, can't afford to buy another one, I have Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Depression, panic attacks, Diabetes type 2, & a lot more, the first two have got a lot worse since this February, I am having a very bad flare up of the Fibromyalgia & can't walk much, my Granddaughter Lauren does a lot for me, like helps me wash get dressed do my hair ect. my husband does as much as he can but he is also in pain & waiting to go into hospital for an operation. OK I know there where some people who claimed when they didn't have a lot wrong with them, but it makes me mad when I hear of drug addicts & alcoholicsee get PIP for something self inflicted, people like me though no fault of our own have ours cut dramatically. I feel so let down by the whole thing.

Asima Abbas's Gravatar
Asima Abbas

Monday, May, 14th, 2018

I disagree with the assessments being recorded it takes away the privacy of the claimant , how do we know how many people will view this recording, and maybe the claimant doesn't want to be recorded, this a very bad idea, but I do agree the claimant should have a copy of descriptors

Kim 's Gravatar
Kim

Sunday, May, 6th, 2018

My comment is not particularly about the disclosure of application paperwork although the refusal not to disclose it to the applicant I find deplorable. Frankly I found little point in the Capita assessment at all! Very glamorous young lady who saw us - I had to be accompanied, there was absolutely no way I could get to a swanky city centre building with no parking alone - but I doubt she had any sort of medical qualifications and certainly no experience at the age of about 25. By the time we had managed to get there I was a wreck I admit but she looked at me as if I was something she had trodden in. All that happened at the assessment was that she went through the exact same form I had taken hours to complete. When the refusal letter came back it was utter rubbish and quoted things that were totally untrue. I wrote a very involved reply when demanding my MR, and lo and behold I got awarded the higher rate in both categories. That was the correct decision in my case but it could so easily have failed. The form is to complicated for many, the assessment centres are inaccessible, the staff are rude, unfriendly and untruthful and dealing with the MR would be frightening for many. If I can help anyone else struggling with the paperwork, let me know and if I can help, I will. The system is designed to make you fail, always remember that and if you end up going to appeal this will be in a proper court who will treat you as an equal, not someone trying to get something for nothing.

Neil Munro's Gravatar
Neil Munro

Sunday, May, 6th, 2018

About time, as an ex CAB advisor after being disabled (injury on duty) from the police force and completing a law degree I found even with my own experience of medical tribunals there was little or no solid note taking. Though I always kept a note of what I said... then sent a copy in with my appeals and it was amazing how much information was not recorded. When dealing with CAB client appeals I found the same indifferent sneaky/negligent attitude! It is only right that a full disclosure of all items discuss by all parties should be made available to the applicant. Tasks given to those involved were often ludicrous and intended to fail them! On one appeal it was held upstairs (one of my own assessment)but the lift was not working. When I asked security guard if the telephone was working he said yes. I then told him to ring and tell the tribunal I was sitting on the bottom step waiting for them. Suddenly the lift was working!. The previous 4 persons failed as they were timed going up stairs!

Asima Abbas's Gravatar
Asima Abbas

Monday, May, 14th, 2018

I have several health conditions which don't allow me exercise and do normal peopleeveryday chores, the pip called me in for 2 face to face interviews in the space of 6 months, what's going on, do the assessors not realise that some conditions don't get better but only worse and it feels like they are putting you through hell and back, I had to go through so much paperwork and calls to get them to understand that us the claimants who have major illnesses do not get better only worse, I felt so degraded by the whole process they make you feel so little and instead of understanding your problems, they make assumptions on just how you talk to them, I was on one of my good days when I went for one of my face to face interviews, and just based on that, they reduced my benefit and took my car away, when I totally rely on my car,, and health problems don't allow me to walk very far or fast, but that day I was on one of my good days, when I have clearly explained to them I have maybe good day once in a month.