Disabled campaigners have welcomed a report by MPs on disability benefit assessments, which they say highlights “serious multiple failures”, but many believe it should have done more to highlight the serious “preventable harm” caused by the system.
The report by the Commons work and pensions committee concludes that there is a “pervasive culture of mistrust” around the personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) assessment processes.
It calls for “urgent change” in the system, including the introduction of routine recording of face-to-face assessments, and says that the government’s contractors, Atos, Capita and Maximus, “have consistently failed to meet basic performance standards”.
It also says the government should send every claimant a copy of the assessment report prepared by the healthcare professional who assessed them, which it says would “introduce essential transparency into decision-making”.
And it calls for improved accessibility of the system “at every stage” and pays tribute to the thousands of claimants who shared evidence with the committee, a response which it says was “unprecedented” for a select committee inquiry.