DWP again ignoring medical evidence, lying in the assessment and treating Alice as if she did not exist.
The DWP in this instance and many others is not only ‘not fit for purpose’, it is guilty of criminal acts or should be.
The assessor in this instance needs to be sacked and the Mandatory Reconsideration is also ‘not fit for purpose’.
In recent months, i has been uncovering the impact the Government’s move to universal credit is having on Britons across the country. Many are suffering from long-term disabilities, yet now face cut to welfare payments that are threatening their health, and often their lives.
These include Sarah Brown*, a young mother living in the East Midlands who is entirely reliant on benefits due to being a full time carer for her disabled husband.
However, she has just been informed that almost all her payments – totalling £1,200 – are being cut, because her renewal form was returned a day late. Below, she tells her story.
A few years ago, not long after the birth of our child, an accident left my husband permanently disabled. His healthcare needs are so demanding that I had to leave work to become his full time carer, and now we are now entirely reliant on the benefits system to survive.
Our lives have been devastated by the accident, in which James* was not at fault. He can only leave the house with the aid of a mobility car paid for through a Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is our only means of getting the four to six medical appointments he has to go to per week.
Source: DWP takes away £1,200 monthly benefits for handing in renewal form late : i News
A Sheffield mum who was assessed for a new disability benefit says it was so “horrendous” she suffered a panic attack. Jennifer Dunstan, 38, was left sobbing and shaking after an assessment for new Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
People who used to receive a disability benefit now have to apply for PIP. The Department for Work and Pensions is reviewing every claim – a total of 1.6 million claims nationwide.
Jennifer lives at Arbourthorne and says her neighbourhood will be the second biggest in Sheffield to be affected by changes to benefits. She has urged people to appeal if they are initially refused the new benefit.
She said: “I had a PIP assessment this year and the process was horrendous. I was sent to an assessment centre in Doncaster but part of my disability is high social anxiety affected by bipolar condition. I also have some physical and neurological disabilities caused by fibromyalgia.
“It’s a horrible combination of things which restricts how far I can travel. I did contact them and at first they said I could be sent anywhere within 90 minutes drive. They eventually changed it but I was assessed by a midwife.
“The assessors are medically qualified but she didn’t know anything about neurological or mental health conditions. She described fibromyalgia as a psychological symptomatic condition but it’s a nerve pain disability. She didn’t do any physical assessment but when I received the notes, she described a physical assessment.
“I was described as being really calm when I had two people supporting me walking into the room because I was shaking and sobbing all the way through the interview. I couldn’t keep up with what she was saying and had a panic attack but none of this was referred to in my notes.”
Jennifer asked for her application to be reconsidered. “You can request a mandatory reconsideration although a lot of people don’t realise this.
Source: Sheffield mum left sobbing over disability benefit – The Star
New government research shows that hundreds of thousands more claimants of personal independence payment (PIP) would have taken further steps to challenge the results of their claims if the system had been less stressful and more accessible.
The research, carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by Ipsos MORI, has cast fresh doubt on government claims that only a small proportion of disabled people are unhappy with the decisions made on their PIP claims.
DWP has repeatedly claimed that only about nine per cent of PIP decisions have been appealed since it was launched in April 2013, and that as few as four per cent of all PIP decisions have been overturned at appeal.
They have used this to suggest that this means that the overwhelming majority of claimants are happy with the PIP assessment system.
But the new research, based on more than 1,200 interviews, explains why many disabled people who applied for PIP decided not to appeal against an award, even if their claim was rejected completely or was lower than they believed they needed.
The research found that, of those PIP claimants who decided not to request a mandatory reconsideration (MR) – the internal review stage of the process, after a decision on a PIP claim has been made – 10 per cent took that decision because they thought it would be too stressful, four per cent did not know how to seek an MR, and seven per cent said they did not know enough about MR to proceed*.
Only three-fifths of those surveyed said they had not sought an MR because they were happy with the award they were given.
Source: Hundreds of thousands more PIP claimants would challenge awards… if they could | DisabledGo News and Blog
Following my journey through the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application process and first stage of appeal, I can show how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are intentionally misleading applicants. The way they are operating is leading to disabled people losing out purely on how things are worded.
Source: Proof the DWP intentionally misleads Personal Independence Payment applicants : universalcreditsuffer.com
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
Official figures suggest that a new appeal stage introduced for unsuccessful claimants has been little more than a delaying tactic aimed at reducing the number of disabled people claiming benefits, say campaigners. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has finally published statistics showing the impact of the process on claimants of the out-of-work disability benefit employment and support allowance (ESA). Since October 2013, claimants of ESA and other benefits who want to dispute a decision made on their claim have had to ask DWP to reconsider the decision – a “mandatory reconsideration” (MR) – before they are allowed to lodge an appeal with the independent benefits tribunal system. And now the first MR figures to be published by DWP show that only about 10 per cent of ESA claimants who appeal through the MR process are successful. When MR was first introduced, DWP civil servants were overturning more than 40 per cent of ESA decisions. But that figure has now fallen dramatically,
Source: First figures on ESA mandatory reconsideration ‘show it is just a delaying tactic’ | DisabledGo News and Blog