Disability benefit claimants in Kirklees sent as far as Manchester for ‘fit for work’ tests – Huddersfield Examiner

Health Watch Kirklees Director Rory Deighton

Long-term disabled benefits claimants from Kirklees are being sent as far as Manchester to judge whether they are fit for work.

Atos, which carries out benefits claimant assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), has been criticised by patients’ champion Healthwatch Kirklees for failing to open an assessment centre in Kirklees.

Claimants of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which replace Disability Living Allowance, must instead attend assessment centres in Halifax, Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield – and sometimes Manchester – to see if they must return to work.

Healthwatch Kirklees advisor Shabana Ali, said: “We first heard these stories in carers groups. When we looked harder we found that the backlog in the assessment system means that local people are being asked to travel as far as Manchester for their assessments, with the system automatically offering appointments that were outside the 90-minute guidelines issued by the DWP.”

Source: Long-term disabled benefits claimants in Kirklees sent as far as Manchester to see if they are fit for work – Huddersfield Examiner

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4 thoughts on “Disability benefit claimants in Kirklees sent as far as Manchester for ‘fit for work’ tests – Huddersfield Examiner

  1. Jeffery Davies

    Well salus was set up in yorkshire for this atos to use keeping at arms length away from the assessments strangely the nhs hasn’t worked out it will get tarnished with dealings with atos

  2. Dez

    Nice one….I guess that’s their way of carrying out their first mobility “test” . Being a public service, with a contracted out assessment centre, they are minimising their expenses by having distant centralised centres… good for their profit and productivity… but very bad news and totally inconvenient for their disabled “clients”.
    Should be the other way around ie organising consolidated local area assessments.
    Once again priorities all screwed to the privitisation profit.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The test for PIP is the same tick-box computer programme as the test for ESA. Didn’t you know? And it’s still run by Atos.

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