DWP recruits 180 presenting officers to cut ESA and PIP appeal success rates

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

[Picture: Skwawkbox blog]

Thanks to Benefits and Work for this information.

The worrying part of this is that presenting officers “will be sent by the DWP to try to discredit claimants and argue as forcibly as possible for the DWP’s interpretation of the law to be accepted”.

The DWP has been given £22 million to recruit presenting officers in an effort to reduce the number of claimants winning their personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA) appeals.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) “Economic and Fiscal Outlook” document lists the following amount:

“£22 million to DWP to recruit presenting officers across 2016-17 to 2017-18 to support the department in personal independent payments and employment and support allowance tribunals.”

Buzzfeed is reporting that the money will pay for 180 new presenting officers.

The number of PIP appeals is expected to skyrocket over the coming two years as the forced move from DLA to PIP takes place.

In addition, the proportion of successful PIP appeals has increased with every quarter since the benefit was introduced. PIP claimants won in 60% of cases from July to September 2015, up from 56% in the previous quarter.

58% of ESA cases are also won by the claimant.

The DWP is also concerned by the way that tribunal judges have been interpreting the very badly drafted PIP legislation in favour of claimants. In particular, the widening of what counts as aids and appliances for PIP activities by judges is what led to the disastrous attempt to change the point scores for PIP.

In theory, presenting officers should act a s a ‘friend of the court’, helping judges to reach a fair decision. In reality, they will be sent by the DWP to try to discredit claimants and argue as forcibly as possible for the DWP’s interpretation of the law to be accepted.

Attending an appeal tribunal is likely to be an even more gruelling process for claimants over the next few years.

Source: DWP recruits 180 presenting officers to cut ESA and PIP appeal success rates

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10 thoughts on “DWP recruits 180 presenting officers to cut ESA and PIP appeal success rates

  1. autismandate

    Along with all the other oppressive tricks, this is called FETTERING discretion. It must be challenged. There must be anti fettering special agents from the Disability Rights Group to go to the assistance of claimants oppressed by this fettering.

    1. paulrutherford8

      Absolutely. The availability of such people should be made very widely known to all potential appellants. I don’t know how they will be recruited, but I’d offer my services if I could… and of course, health permitting.

  2. Dez

    friend of the court!!……there’s a misnamed title……seen them in action at Family Courts working for the establishments and their cahoots. Very few honest ones with integrity I’m afraid these muppets will be singing the same DWP hymns but with no spiritual content ……these are cost slashers in disguise adding to the payroll costs….unless another bunch of useless outsources..

  3. Brian

    With such hostility increasing, ‘defendants’ require information on the rules of engagement during these tribunals.

  4. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7)

    This is a clandestine effort to claw back benefits via the backdoor, and to achieve a minimal PIP cut. The DWP presenting officers are no ‘friend of the court’: their role is clearly adversarial, and their presence at ESA and PIP tribunals will create enormous anxiety for Britain’s sick and disabled. I strongly recommend that disability campaigners and the Labour party call for the restoration of Legal Aid for ESA and PIP claimants, who will now be at a tremendous disadvantage. I predict that this added stress will push vulnerable people to the brink of suicide—and beyond.

  5. jbw31

    Not sure how these people work but surely you can ask for them to be chucked out of your hearing if you don’t want them there. Human Rights and all that. Amazing how it’s all about saving money but when it comes to bringing these people in and paying private companies to do the job, the money doesn’t matter. Do they add the cost of these private companies into the welfare budget by the way, so that when the Tories spout the cost of welfare (it’s really social security which I prefer to say) that includes these private companies and manpower they’re bringing in?

  6. mrmarcpc

    More sneaky ways from these Hitler lovers to screw the less well off, high time there was a protest to this and get it shut down before it has the chance to get up and running!

  7. Brian

    I wonder how ‘Hard Working’ tax payers would appreciate their money being spent on these goons.

  8. brianmca3

    This gov just gets sicker by the day,suits who have no medical back ground,or qualifications to deal with folks illness,what next concentration camps? they did it before hitlers mob ,those who voted in these monsters ,must sit at home grinning like a cheshire cat ,when the death toll rises ,hope they know that they have blood on their hands

Comments are closed.