From Kate Belgrave’s blog
This ought to tell you something about the criminal waste of time and money that is our disability assessment system:
As readers of this site will know, I’ve been following the benefit assessment experiences of Sean (name changed), a 53-year-old man who has Asperger’s and severe depression and anxiety.
I’ve listed below some of the benefit assessments and reassessments – and associated DWP blunders and screwups, which is in many ways the real list – that Sean and his partner (who has a schizophrenia diagnosis) have experienced in recent times. They’re still in the middle of this non-stop assessment, of course. There literally is never a time when they’re not in the middle of one benefit assessment or another. They’re always filling in forms, waiting to be called to assessment, being called to assessment, going to assessment, waiting for assessment outcomes, appealing assessment outcomes, or being told to fill in a new set of forms.
But here’s the point I really want to make. There really isn’t any sort of service around that might change or improve their circumstances in any way. Quite the reverse. All of this couple’s support has been removed in the last few years. They had a social worker a few years ago, but lost that service because council funding was cut. The two used to attend a community mental health service (that’s where they met), but had to stop going there, because services were cut. They used a local welfare advice centre for some support with filling in application forms, but just received a letter saying that social security support at that service will end, because the housing association that funded part of it is pulling out. They are at the point where there is literally nobody around to help or to accompany them to face-to-face assessments. We get all this waffle from the DWP and government about getting people back to work and blah blah blah. At the same time, all familiar, useful and complex support is removed.
Still, the DWP assesses and assesses and assesses these people. I don’t know why the department expects things to have changed from one assessment to the next. A torrent of mail and paperwork pours through this couple’s door from the DWP and the council and their housing association. Some of the letters and processes don’t even make sense, as you’ll see below.