Work & Pensions Committee report on PIP ESA assessments

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Some people here may want to read this:-

I have only posted a snippet which I feel is relevant far more at the link:-

Failing a substantial minority

5.This evidence does not, however, tell the whole story. Since 2013 more than 1 in 20 PIP and ESA claimants only received what they were entitled to after challenging the DWP’s initial decision. This amounts to huge numbers of claimants: 290,000, comprising 227,000 for PIP and 63,000 for ESA. For both benefits, half of those claimants had to go through both challenge processes of MR and appeal.13 These figures will underestimate the scale of the problems as some claimants feel unable to face challenging their initial or MR decision.14 Though thousands of individuals responded to our inquiry, they amount to only a small proportion of people who have encountered difficulties with the process.

Conclusion and recommendation

6.The PIP and ESA assessment processes function satisfactorily for the majority of claimants, but they are failing a substantial minority. The response to our inquiry from claimants was striking and unprecedented. This report—featuring just a fraction of the evidence we received—is a tribute to their efforts and bravery in submitting evidence and a reflection of the importance of recognising the human consequences of policy shortcomings.

7.We recommend the Department set out in response to our report, for each category of concern we have identified:

a)whether it recognises this concern;

b)any assessment it has made of its prevalence;

c)how it is monitored;

d)what measures are in place to prevent it, and at what stage in the process;

e)any related performance measures; and

f)what further steps, if any, it intends to take.

Sunny Clouds

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General grumble on the usual DWP responses...

I've read DWP responses to various aspects of the committee's work etc. and I'm not sure whether I've read the one to this, but they're all pretty much the same.  "The majority of claimants are satisfied with..." 

That sounds ok until it's you that's affected.

"The majority of patients don't die waiting for appropriate care on the NHS" = the funding's enough (so long as it's not someone you care about that dies)

"The majority of people who bought their council homes are satisfied with the right to buy scheme" = the scheme's brilliant (so long as it wasn't you that didn't realise there could be some very big liabilities if there's a problem with the building your flat's in, and so long as it's not you that needs a council place and can't get one because most have been sold off)

"Disability premiums aren't included in UC because the extra resources disabled people need is funded through other benefits and services" = it makes sense not to pay here what's provided elsewhere (except that when it's you that needs help you find the other funding and services have also been cut)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)


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Do Government departments ever change what they are doing as a result of this type of report?

I suspect the Universal Credit doesn't contain certain premiums because, heaven forfend, that might leave a disabled person better off on benefits than in work (and UC is founded on the principle that no-one in work should ever receive less than they would in benefits)