Archives for posts with tag: Atos

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]

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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


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


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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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


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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Diary of an SAH Stroke Survivor

It is not often I bring appeal court judgments to this blog but this one is off importance to many, it was past down in the upper tier tribunal with a panel of 3 judges.

Many of us know the sheer pain in the backside exercising our lawful right in appealing a decision that we feel is manifestly wrong and goes against all principals of fairness and indeed lawfulness so imagine my surprise when I got wind of this judgment via email from benefits and work so I scurried off in search of the full judgment attached below.

The wastage in misspent public money is mind blowing and is a careless double hit to Govt because not only are they paying millions to Capita, ATOS and Maximus for this failed Work Capability Assessments with no recourse for refund if thy get it wrong but they are paying again for tribunals…

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The Government has been accused of “evading” disability rights by ignoring the recommendations of a major UN committee, in what has been described as a “continuing retrogression” of disabled people’s rights in the UK. Disability organisations from across the country have accused ministers of ignoring questions put to it earlier this year by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, leaving disabled people to face “serious discrimination” in educational, employment and social opportunities.

Source: Government accused of breaching UN convention in its treatment of disabled people | The Independent


A disabled women says she was left to sit in her own urine for nearly two hours after her plight was ignored by a healthcare professional carrying out a disability benefit assessment.

Maria Lane has spoken up about the “devastating” experience she endured during her personal independence payment (PIP) assessment, in the hope that other disabled people will not have to go through similar experiences.

She told – and showed – the assessor just 10 minutes into the assessment that she had had an accident and had emptied her bladder into her incontinence pad, and that urine was leaking into her trousers.

But she said the female assessor – who works for the government contractor Atos – “looked for a second at the pad” and then continued typing.

Atos has now launched an investigation.

For nearly two hours, she was forced to continue answering questions, with the assessor warning her whenever she failed to do so that if she did not respond she would have to return for another assessment.

Maria Lane has a number of long-term health conditions, including diabetes, osteoarthritis – which affects all of her joints and has spread into her spine – sciatica, a slipped disc, high blood pressure, and depression.

She is waiting for a major operation on her bladder, because of severe incontinence which means she has to wear pads permanently.

 

Source: Woman ‘forced to sit in her own urine for two hours’ by PIP assessor – Black Triangle Campaign


This current Tory Government and probably the previous Tory Governments and New Labour are promoting Government euthanasia. By this I mean they are and were creating policies that remove benefits from persons with disabilities so that they cannot survive. Therefore they are creating situations where their death is almost inevitable. In doing so they are reducing those on benefits because on death the benefits cease, if not before due the benefits for their existence being wrongly withdrawn.

Euthanasia by Government policies.

Same Difference

Scope, the charity for disabled people, tweeted an interesting number when the general election was announced. There are, it said, 13 million disabled people in Britain. Some 89 per cent have said they will vote. 

The reason that number is worth paying attention to is that if the 89 per cent are true to their word, and if they use their franchise to hold the Government to account for its brutal treatment of disabled people, it might just spell trouble for Theresa May’s dreams of a three-figure majority. 

Now, let me make one thing clear at the outset. I’m not about to say who you should vote for. Journalists too often do that. I would simply invite you to consider the Government’s record when it comes to disability.

If I were to take on the role of prosecuting ministers over that, I would struggle to find somewhere to start. So long would…

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