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Atos assessor told gay man he was ‘defective’ and needed to be cured by God


One more mark against ATOS and their assessors, how many more will it take for the DWP to admit the assessments and assessors are ‘not fit for purpose’.

Govt Newspeak

Keith Morgan head and shouldersA doctor working for the government contractor Atos told a gay disabled man she was assessing for his entitlement to disability benefits that his sexuality meant he was “defective” and that God needed to fix him like a “broken” car.

Atos was forced to pay Keith Morgan compensation after he was subjected to an experience at the end of his work capability assessment (WCA) that the company later admitted was “wholly inappropriate”.

The GP told him that when a car had a problem it had to be returned to the dealer to be repaired, just as he needed to be returned to God to be cured of his homosexuality. She then told him of a television programme that featured a gay man who had been “cured” in this way and now had nine children, and she gave him the man’s name and handed him the address of a Christian website that…

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ATOS is ignoring DWP guidelines – again | Govt Newspeak


We have just written another letter of complaint to ATOS (or Independent Assessment Services, as they are now called), who have again ignored DWP guidelines about the role of companions accompanying people to their PIP assessment. Let’s hope they respond as quickly as they did last time. Here is our letter:

Dear Sir/Madam

We write again with a serious complaint about your assessment centre at Gemini Crescent, Dundee. Last Thursday (17th May) one of our volunteers accompanied a man to his assessment. The person being assessed has serious brain damage and had asked our volunteer to help him make sure that he fully answered the questions, and that all the difficulties he needed to raise were covered. This is something we have helped with many times before, in line with the DWP guidelines reproduced below. However, on this occasion the assessors told our volunteer that he could not…

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Source: ATOS is ignoring DWP guidelines – again | Govt Newspeak

Almost a third of PIP disability assessments are ‘not up to scratch’ | DisabledGo News and Blog


Almost a third of assessments for the PIP disability benefit are not fully up to scratch, figures reveal.

The data shows the shocking full story behind the official figure that 95% of reports are “acceptable”.

Atos and Capita have a target for 3% or fewer of their reports to be ranked “unacceptable” – and currently it is around 5%.

But figures handed to MPs show thousands more “acceptable” reports still had to be amended or prompted staff feedback.

Atos, for example, said 5% of its reports were “unacceptable” between March and December 2017.

But a further 10% were “acceptable with amendments”, and 15% were “acceptable with feedback” – meaning there was “learning required” for the assessor.

That left just 70% of Atos reports that were graded acceptable without any changes or feedback.

In the same period, Capita said just 6% of its reports were unacceptable. But a further 15% were acceptable with amendments and 13% had learning required.

That meant 66% of Capita reports were graded acceptable without any amendments or feedback.

An Atos spokesman stressed that “acceptable with amendments” still meant a report was acceptable.

 

Source: Almost a third of PIP disability assessments are ‘not up to scratch’ | DisabledGo News and Blog

PIP/ESA tests ‘trigger lack of trust in system’ [You Think]


Hated Government welfare tests have unleashed a “pervasive lack of trust” in the system, MPs warn today. Contracting out assessments for Personal Independence Payments and Employment and Support Allowance fuelled victims’ agony, the Commons Work and Pensions Committee reveals.

In a 71-page report, it calls on ministers to scrap the current arrangements and take tests back in house. Chairman Frank Field said: “For the majority of claimants the assessments work adequately, but a pervasive lack of trust is undermining its entire operation. “In turn, this is translating into untenable human costs to claimants and financial costs to the public purse. No one should have any doubt the process needs urgent change.”

Since 2013, 290,000 rejected claims for Personal Independence Payments or Employment and Support Allowance have been granted on appeal – 6% of all those assessed.

 

Source: PIP/ESA tests ‘trigger lack of trust in system’ [You Think]

The PIP Files: Nearly one in three Capita assessments were flawed, reports reveal | DisabledGo News and Blog


Nearly one in three of the disability benefit assessment reports completed by a private sector contractor were significantly flawed, confidential Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) documents suggest.

The figures were revealed through a government audit of personal independence payment (PIP) assessment reports that had been written by staff working for under-fire outsourcing giant Capita in 2016.

The audit, which examined more than 4,000 of the 190,000 assessment reports completed by Capita from April to December 2016, found that about 7.5 per cent of them were so poor as to be deemed “unacceptable”.

But with another 14 per cent of assessments, DWP concluded that the report was so flawed that there was “learning required” by the healthcare professional who wrote it, although the report was of an “acceptable” standard.

And in a further 12 per cent of cases, the report needed to be amended because of even more serious flaws in the assessor’s report, although again the report was still said to be of an “acceptable” standard.

In all, nearly 33 per cent of the Capita reports audited during 2016 were found to be of an unacceptable standard, to need changes, or demonstrated that the assessor had failed to carry out their role properly.

If the findings of the audit – which examined just over two per cent of all reports – were applied to all 190,000 of the assessments completed by Capita in that eight-month period, more than 14,000* PIP claimants could have had their claim decided on the basis of a report that was of an unacceptable standard.

And more than 62,000* could have been based on a report that was of an unacceptable

 

Source: The PIP Files: Nearly one in three Capita assessments were flawed, reports reveal | DisabledGo News and Blog

DWP promises no-one will lose out in huge review of 1.6 million PIP cases | DisabledGo News and Blog


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has promised that no disabled people will have their benefits reduced because of its decision to review 1.6 million personal independence payment (PIP) claims.

The review follows last month’s decision by the new work and pensions secretary, Esther McVey, that she would not appeal a court ruling that found new rules introduced last year by DWP were unlawful, “blatantly discriminatory” and breached the UN disability convention.

The rules, which were rushed into law by the government last March, had meant that people who were unable to plan or undertake a journey due to overwhelming psychological distress would receive fewer qualifying points when assessed for PIP, with many receiving a lower level of financial support as a result, or even no PIP at all.

The new rules were only introduced because an upper tribunal ruling had found that DWP was wrong to say that such PIP claimants should not be entitled to those points.

Sarah Newton, the minister for disabled people, announced this week that, following McVey’s decision not to appeal the court ruling, DWP would review every one of the 1.6 million PIP claims that have been made since the benefit was introduced in 2013 to see how many had been wrongly assessed and were now entitled to backdated PIP payments.

 

Source: DWP promises no-one will lose out in huge review of 1.6 million PIP cases | DisabledGo News and Blog

Mary Creagh raises fears for disabled people on benefits


Who is responsible for checking quality, it appears no one is, only criteria is push through the assessments be they right or wrong. Somewhere there has to be accountability and why do these companies not only continue to be allowed to undertake assessments, but they are continually awarded new contracts.

Govt Newspeak

editorial image

Sick and disabled people are being turned down for benefits because “inappropriate” people are carrying out health assessments. YOU THINK

That’s according to Wakefield MP Mary Creagh, who told the House of Commons of dozens of letters she has received from worried claimants.

 https://twitter.com/MaryCreaghMP/status/942786325475938304

Speaking in parliament yesterday, Ms Creagh said the assessment process was failing people trying to get Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Private companies Atos and Capita carry out assessment under contracts with the government.

Ms Creagh said: “Forty people in Wakefield have written to me with their concerns that, at their employment and support allowance or PIP assessment, they were not seen by an appropriate person.

“That includes one person with mental health problems, who was assessed by a paramedic.”

The Work and Pensions Select Committee is currently conducting an inquiry into PIP and ESA assessments.

Cruel benefit tests mean some vulnerable…

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DWP agrees to reform benefit appeals process following pressure from MPs


In response to pressure from the Work and Pensions Select Committee the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that its target for upholding original PIP and ESA decisions at the first stage of appeal, known as Mandatory Reconsideration (MR), will be dropped.

On 28 November the Committee wrote to DWP with concerns about MRs, which had come up in the Committee’s current inquiry into the medical assessments carried out by ATOS, Maximus and Capita to inform DWP’s decisions on awards of disability benefits PIP and ESA.

The Committee had heard of “pressure to turn out numbers” in relation to both the original decision and at MR stage, and that MRs simply “rubber stamp” the original decision. The DWP revealed in an FOI request in May 2017 that one of the performance indicators for MRCs was that 80% of the original decisions are to be upheld.

The Committee queried how a target for upholding original decisions could be compatible with ensuring that questionable reports are thoroughly investigated, and erroneous decisions identified and corrected.

 

Source: DWP agrees to reform benefit appeals process following pressure from MPs

Claiming disability benefit? Don’t ever dare shake hands


The more you hear about these assessments and the assessors the more ridiculous these processes are shown to be.

It would not surprise me that eventually, if not now, only to turn up for the face to face would deem you ‘fit for work’. Then if you do not turn up you are sanctioned. Either way the system gets you.

Yes, that is ridiculous, but no more than ‘handshakes’. Handshaking is the acceptable British way to greet people, not the kissing on cheek or cheeks which is more European.

In fact, could not the kissing on cheeks be deemed by some to be a possible sexual approach, whereby the shaking of hands will not be.

Govt Newspeak

c  ‘If you’re disabled and meeting your DWP assessor for the first time – or any time – DON’T SHAKE THEIR HAND! They ain’t your friend!

Do you shake hands? I do – with people I’m meeting for the first time, and often meeting up with people I already know really well. But the classic handshake is now not the single accepted greeting, and even with strangers you must awkwardly negotiate the possibility of the kiss on one or both cheeks, or bro shake with optional shoulder bump.

But I’ve been trained to think of the unhesitating handshake as simple good manners. The same, I suspect, is true of former pub landlady Bethen Thorpe from north London, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in…

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