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Remploy loses inspection contracts


Experts by Experience need to be used and listened to more effectively and hopefully more concentration on actual care delivery, rather than record keeping.

Govt Newspeak

Remploy loses inspection contracts after years of concerns over performance – By John Pring

A discredited US company that earns hundreds of millions of pounds a year through benefit assessment and employment support contracts has lost the right to run large parts of a care inspection scheme, following repeated concerns about its performance.

Maximus, which has been running three of the four regional Experts by Experience (ExE) schemes since 2016, has lost out in a lengthy bidding process to a consortium headed by a UK charity.

The ExE scheme uses disabled people, family carers, and other people with experience of using services to provide expert input into Care Quality Commission (CQC) health and social care inspections across England.

Three of the ExE regional schemes are currently managed by Remploy, the disability employment business which was previously owned by the government but is now mostly owned by Maximus.

But Remploy/Maximus…

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Maximus Make ‘Jaw Dropping’ Profits From ESA Assessments


So Maximus are making “‘jaw dropping profits’ for sub-standard work” and in 2017 Frank Field, chair of the commons work and pensions committee, went on to say “the government will surely want to look at whether assessments would be better delivered in-house”.

What have the Government to say about this, I hope they will only be paying Maximus for the work that is done to standard, being the Governments standard and not that of persons claiming or what a reasonable person would accept, which would be a considerably higher standard.

I would hope that the DWP have only paid Maximus for work that is standard and if work was already paid, to then claim back where the work was subsequently found to be sub-standard, for to not do so means the contract did not state quality standards, when one would have expected it to do so.

These welfare reforms leave a lot to be desired as claimants have found to their cost.

In effect the welfare reforms are a ‘shambles’ and should be deemed ‘not fit for purpose’ and this goes for the organisations that have been contracted to do the work on behalf of the DWP.

Same Difference

With many thanks to Benefits And Work.

The Times is reporting that the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, better known as Maximus, has doubled its profits from carrying out ESA assessments.

According to the Times, Maximus made a profit of £26 million in the year to September 2017, double the profits it made in the preceding year and representing a rise from 8.4 to 16.1 in its profit margin.

Maximus says the cash has been earned because it has been hitting volume performance targets.

However, as we revealed back in December 2017, Maximus have never met their targets for the proportion of reports that are deemed unacceptable. In October 2017, 7.9% of reports were judged to be unacceptable, well above the target of 5%.

Frank Field, chair of the commons work and pensions committee, told the Times that the committee had heard “appalling evidence about the shoddy work…

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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]

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.

DWP AND THIS GOVT GET BACKSIDES KICKED AGAIN, THIS TIME FOR BLOCKING APPEALS


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


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

Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign


What you will read may be very distressing for you, but we are looking at the worst-case scenario and identifying measures to help you and other claimants.
It would be good to have some feedback on the Health and Work Conversations from people who have made an ESA claim. More we know about it, and more we can fight this.
What you should not do, is to decide not to claim ESA. That is what DWP wants you to do.
Some documents released by the DWP have shown the direction of travel in terms of claiming ESA under UC.
Under the old regime, a person wishing to claim ESA was placed in the ESA assessment phase, attracting the lowest ESA rate (JSA rate), and also no conditionality, and this until a Work Capability Assessment could decide whether the claimant was fit or unfit for work.
The Work and Health Conversation
Under Universal Credit, a person wishing to claim ESA will be first called for a Health and Work Conversation (HWC). This conversation is basically a Work Focus Interview, and is mandatory, which means that a claimant can be sanctioned for not attending. Attending does not only mean being physically present at the interview but also fulfilling all the requirements set by DWP for a WFI:
Regulation 57 of the Employment and Support Allowance Regulations 2008:
57.—(1) A claimant is regarded as having taken part in a work-focused interview if the claimant—
(a) attends for the interview at the place and at the date and time notified in accordance with regulation 56;
(b) provides information, if requested by the Secretary of State, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (2);
(c) participates in discussions to the extent the Secretary of State considers necessary, about any or all of the matters set out in paragraph (3);
(d) assists the Secretary of State in the completion of an action plan.
 (2) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(b) are—
(a) the claimant’s educational qualifications and vocational training;
(b) the claimant’s work history;
(c) the claimant’s aspirations for future work;
(d) the claimant’s skills that are relevant to work;
(e) the claimant’s work-related abilities;
(f) the claimant’s caring or childcare responsibilities; and
(g) any paid or unpaid work that the claimant is undertaking.
(3) The matters referred to in paragraph (1)(c) are—

Source: Nobody is Unfit for Work – Black Triangle Campaign

DWP presentation on ESA plans ‘confirms worst fears’ about green paper – Black Triangle Campaign


Ministers have been accused of ignoring a public consultation and ploughing ahead with plans that will make their “fitness for work” testing regime even more stressful and unfair for sick and disabled people.

A presentation delivered by two senior Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants earlier this month suggests that ministers have decided – as many disabled activists feared after the publication of last year’s green paper – to introduce new benefit sanctions for sick and disabled people with the highest support needs.

The presentation at a DWP “Operational Stakeholder Engagement Forum” appears to confirm that the government had decided how it would reform the system of out-of-work disability benefits before its “consultation” process had finished on 17 February.

The government had claimed that it wanted to make the work capability assessment (WCA) less of an ordeal for claimants, with work and pensions secretary Damian Green telling last October’s Conservative party conference he wanted to support those disabled people who cannot work, and “sweep away unnecessary stress and bureaucracy which weighs them down”.

But slides from the presentation appear to show that his new regime will be even harsher, and that many employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants with the highest support needs and barriers to work will for the first time face having their benefits sanctioned if they do not co-operate with the regime.

The slides show DWP has already begun introducing a compulsory, face-to-face “health and work conversation” (HWC) with a jobcentre work coach that will apply to nearly all new claimants of ESA, weeks or even months before they go through the WCA process to decide whether they are not fit for work and eligible for the benefit.

Source: DWP presentation on ESA plans ‘confirms worst fears’ about green paper – Black Triangle Campaign

Mother of ‘fit for work’ victim calls for ministers to face criminal charges | DisabledGo News and Blog


The mother of a disabled man who starved to death after he was found “fit for work” and lost his out-of-work disability benefits has called for ministers to face criminal charges. Jill Gant says work and pensions ministers should be tried for misconduct in public office for failing to take action that could have saved the life of her son, Mark Wood. She spoke out after signing a letter, drawn up by the Green Party and backed by Disabled People Against Cuts, that calls on work and pensions secretary Damian Green to order an independent inquiry into the links between his department’s procedures and the deaths of benefit claimants. The party has produced a dossier of 50 cases in which the deaths of benefit claimants have been linked to decisions taken by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Mark Wood starved to death in 2013 after being found ineligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), even though he had never been able to cope with the demands of a job and his GP had

Source: Mother of ‘fit for work’ victim calls for ministers to face criminal charges | DisabledGo News and Blog

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