PIP investigation: Welfare expert says two-thirds of appeals involve lying assessors

Welfare rights experts have produced evidence that backs up the findings of a Disability News Service (DNS) investigation into the lies told by healthcare professionals in their disability benefit assessment reports.

Last week, the two-month investigation revealed how assessors working for the outsourcing companies Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – had repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.

read more here : http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/pip-investigation-welfare-expert-says-two-thirds-of-appeals-involve-lying-assessors/

Private firms pocket more than £500m from hated disability benefit assessments

Two private firms responsible for carrying out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have pocketed more than half a BILLION pounds of taxpayers cash, despite thousands of “inaccurate assessments” being later overturned in favour of claimants.

Data collected by The Mirror reveals Atos and Capita have made more than £500m from Personal Independence Payment assessments, since the new disability benefit was introduced to replace Disability Living Allowance in 2013.

read more here: http://www.welfareweekly.com/private-firms-pocket-more-than-500m-from-hated-disability-benefit-assessments/

Private firms rake in half a BILLION pounds for cruel disability benefit assessments

Atos and Capita earn the fees assessing people for PIP despite thousands having their cases overturned on appeal

Fit-to-work firms Atos and Capita have earned more than £500m of taxpayer cash running a hated Tory scheme to assess people for disability benefits.

Analysis of Government data by the Mirror shows the two firms were paid £211m for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in the first 11 months of 2016.

That was up from £198m in 2015, £91m in 2014 and £7m in 2013, the year PIP launched.

PIP is designed to help disabled people live independently and is replacing the old Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Yet despite the assessments’ £507m price tag, thousands of decisions based on them are being overturned on appeal.

Figures to September 2016 show 61% of 90,000 claimants who appealed against a PIP decision at a tribunal won their case.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “This adds to the suspicion that these companies are just driven by a profit motive, and the incentive is to get the assessments done, but not necessarily to get the assessments right.

read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/private-firms-rake-half-billion-9515131#ICID=ios_TMNewsApp_AppShare_Click_Other


I demand that you make your ridiculous failing PIP appointment system accessible to disabled people

This is from the facebook page 4UP:

I work full time always have, I am disabled, have been since age 8 when I caught polio and my left leg became paralysed. In 1992 I got a life award of DLA high rate mobility, this enabled me to go to uni and have a life.

In August 2016 I got a letter saying DLA was ending and inviting me to claim PIP which I did. I was invited to attend a clinic assessment in a city centre building at 8 am on 18 October, I contacted them to explain that it was inaccessible due to the location, no parking and my mobility. I was asked to send medical proof of this which I did ( proof which says I can only walk a few steps from a doctor which is what they are assessing me for). They agreed I could be assessed at home. I asked if we can make an appointment for this as I have no annual leave left and my diary is solid for 3 weeks ahead but they have no appointments available.

I was then sent an appointment for 10 November, I had to go to some lengths to rearrange my diary but managed this. Capita rung me on 4 November to tell me that this appointment was cancelled as the assessor had resigned. Yesterday I received a letter offering me an appointment on 30 November once again I have rearranged my diary. Today they called to say that they have cancelled that appointment as their assessor has left (what since Monday?) and they have made me an appointment for 21 November instead.

I can’t make that appointment as I am chairing an important meeting on that day which can’t be moved. Capita’s reply “well that’s your first cancellation do it again and we will send your case back to DWP and your benefits will be stopped”. But I haven’t had this appointment in writing yet and I did ask for 3 weeks notice as I don’t manage my own immediate work diary.

I said can we make an appointment together please as I am working full time and have no annual leave and you have cancelled both appointments that I could accommodate? No we haven’t any available. Will you consult with me before booking another appointment? No, our system allocates it. And if I can’t make the appointment? Then you could lose your benefits.

Well Capita I, Sharon Griffin, demand that you make your ridiculous failing system accessible to disabled people. We work, we live, we have commitments and you need to understand and respect this. Your system is in inhuman and degrading, obstructive and not fit for purpose and I speak for disabled people when I make this protest post. Please share this and help me fight this consciously cruel system.

Capita putting patient safety at risk, claims BMA

Created: Tuesday, 08 November 2016 19:27 The British Medical Association (BMA) has accused Capita of “putting patient care and safety at risk” by their chaotic handling of patients’ medical records. Capita is a familiar name to claimants because of their contract to carry out personal independence payment assessments in parts of the country. However, another […]

via Capita putting patient safety at risk, claims BMA | BenefitsandWork.co.uk — Britain Isn’t Eating

Cruel government tests that literally leave people dying for help

Terminally ill people are being refused the financial help they so desperately need

For 31 years, Fred Williamson worked as an NHS paramedic. Now, at 62, he has terminal leukemia and needs help himself. But the benefits assessor who saw him scored him zero points – so he is not eligible for the Government ’s flagship Personal Independence Payment.

“I’ve worked hard all my life but I’m having to fight for help when I need it,” he says. “I know I’m going to die, I’m OK with that, but I don’t think I should be treated like this.”

Peter Grice, 58, a former lorry driver living in the same area of Staffordshire, who has prostate cancer was also turned down after being assessed. He had to fight through a tribunal for help. He is now facing a second tribunal after a repeat assessment.

Meanwhile, Diane Siegertsz, 57, from Stoke, who has twice had mouth cancer, was also knocked back for PIP despite the fact she has  severe difficulties communicating and swallowing, and weighs just six stone.

Seriously ill patients like these are the very people Damian Green , newly appointed to the role of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, says he wants to help. His first welcome move as DWP boss has been to end the retesting of people with “severe” conditions for Employment Support Allowance, saying he wants to “sweep away any unnecessary stress and bureaucracy”.

But his reforms will do nothing to help any of these three cancer patients. Fred, Peter and Diane all get ESA but they have struggled to get PIP – a critical additional benefit. Without PIP, they don’t just lose financial support, their families also lose Carers’ Allowance, a ­disabled badge, power wheelchairs and motability, the scheme that helps them buy specialised cars. The result is that hundreds of vehicles are being taken from disabled people every week.

Charity Macmillan has previously criticised severe delays in PIP reaching cancer patients.

Benefit advisers in Stoke are now questioning the quality of ­Capita’s assessments as well as DWP decision making over cancer patients.

“We are seeing people with stage four lung cancer being awarded zero points,” says Duncan Walker, a Unite community adviser based in Stoke. They need eight to qualify for help and 12 to get enhanced help. These people are critically ill and some won’t live long enough to fight through the tribunal system”

Read more here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cruel-government-tests-literally-leaves-9042157

Nurse and her GP husband lodge complaint over ‘lies’ told by Capita PIP assessor

A benefits assessor working for the outsourcing company Capita repeatedly “lied” in her report, after carrying out a face-to-face assessment of a disabled nurse which was observed by her husband, a retired GP.

The disabled woman and her husband have asked not to be named – so their claims have not been put to Capita or the Department for Work and Pensions – but they have provided proof to Disability News Service (DNS) that they are both on their respective professional registers.

read more here: http://www.disabilitynewsservice.com/nurse-and-her-gp-husband-lodge-complaint-over-lies-told-by-capita-pip-assessor/