PIP assessor bragged on camera about refusing benefits before even meeting claimants

Jacqui Nicholls and husband David Nicholls at their home in Kingsley, Northampton. Jacqui was refused PIP payments despite a brain injury [Image: Northampton Chronicle].

Jacqui Nicholls and husband David Nicholls at their home in Kingsley, Northampton. Jacqui was refused PIP payments despite a brain injury [Image: Northampton Chronicle].

Anybody who thinks Alan Barham is the only PIP assessor ripping off the public – and the government – in this way is gravely mistaken.

Families like Mr and Mrs Nicholls are right to demand reassessment – and to take new Work and Pensions secretary Stephen Crabb to task for allowing such maladministration.

The Conservative Government has claimed for years that it has no targets for pushing people off-benefit, and then we get stories like this. Something must have motivated Mr Barham to act the way he did.

Perhaps Mr Crabb should tell us what.

People who were denied disability benefits in Northampton by a man who was later caught on camera admitting he judged claimants before he had even “walked through the door” want their original assessments thrown out.

Last week Channel Four’s Dispatches programme sent an undercover reporter into the Northampton offices of Capita – a firm contracted to carry out disability assessments on behalf of the Government.

The shocking footage showed one assessor, Alan Barham, talking openly about making £20,000 a month, branding one claimant “fat” and admitting that he refused a man the Personal Independence Payment before even meeting with him.

Now some of those who were also turned down for PIP by former paramedic Mr Barham – who has now been sacked – believe their assessments should be voided.

Jacqueline Nicholls, of Murray Avenue, Kingsley, was turned down for the payment, even though she had been claiming the Disability Living Allowance for 10 years.

A brain tumour she had when she was 11 years old has left her with severe mobility and communication problems.

After seeing the documentary, her husband of 24 years, David, has written to the Welfare secretary Stephen Crabb MP, asking that all those assessed by Mr Barham get the chance for a re-assessment.

Source: Calls for company to review PIP claims after Northampton assessor was caught bragging on camera – Northampton Chronicle and Echo

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19 thoughts on “PIP assessor bragged on camera about refusing benefits before even meeting claimants

  1. Looby

    I watched the Dispatches Doc, and recall how assessor Alan Barham was considered by his colleagues and the DWP as ‘one of their Best and Most experienced’ advisors.

    Thats why he was coaching the undercover reporter and showing him the ropes.

    Strange how the DWP instantly sacked him when exposed….

    It appears that this type of behavior by assessors is not only expected but encouraged and rewarded.

    This is the Culture of the DWP.
    And those at the Top Create it for their own ends.

      1. jay

        I fully support the two previous comments.
        This “Health Professional” should be put on trial for FRAUD.
        After all what else can you call it?
        The DWP in their McCarthy like witch hunt against benefit fraud are spending millions of the tax payer’s money on these discredited assessments.
        It beggars belief that this man previously worked as a paramedic.
        What a disgrace he is to the medical profession.

  2. Brian

    Alan Barham will carry the toxicity of the DWP with him for the rest of his career, and it’s well deserved.

  3. Pam Pinder

    all you need to look at is the bonuses paid for each person being assessed as fit for work, including those who have died before their appeals were heard. Obviously making their fortune out of the sick and disabled is a very rewarding career choice for some!

  4. mohandeer

    I watched Dispatches programme and as a result will not now be attending my PIPS assessment. I will not be further humiliated by the likes of that particular unsavoury creature. It certainly is not enough that he was sacked, all monies he took for a job he did not do should be returned as restitution for his misconduct. The fact that the manageress even tolerated his comment about the unfortunate “fat” lady should see her also dismissed. Any person who was assessed by Barham should automatically have been contacted for re-assessment by nothing less than a medical doctor practitioner. If they haven’t been already contacted then the dismissal of Barham by Capita was a mere empty gesture in which they threw that particular assessor under the bus, but only because he was caught out.

  5. John

    Not only should all those assessed by Mr Barham, be given the chance of re-assessment, but the claimants of any other “assessors” that were ‘trained’ by Mr Barham should also have that chance. Of course, this could and probably will ‘explode’ to rather a lot of claimants.

  6. Michael Broadhurst

    your GP should have the final say on anything medical and not some unqualified assessor appointed my Dodgy Daves government.

  7. Nikki Pegram

    I was on the programme, and I was also assessed by Alan Barham. Had my PIP taken away from me a year ago. Still waiting for my appeal hearing a year later. Not holding out much hope that I’ll win it, although I’m hoping the fact that I was assessed by him, and that the report was full of lies will go in my favour xx

  8. Rik

    Ok.. am back 20k a month to strip the benefits from the most vulnerable people who are entitled and deserve what is rightfully theirs & then bragging about it..
    Let’s hope this Barham chap isn’t recognized out in public…
    Than You

  9. Nikki Pegram

    I was on the Dispatches program, and I was also assessed by Alan Barham. He is the reason I lost my PIP that I was already receiving for other health problems. That was a year ago. I’m still waiting for my appeal hearing. I’m hoping the fact that he has been sacked, and the fact that his assessment report reads like a work of fiction will help my appeal, but I doubt it. This government seem determined to save money by killing all disabled people. Hitler would be proud.

  10. Cthulhu

    I’ve just had a looksee at Capita’s vacancies website and Assessors for DWP PIP (employed by Capita) are paid up to £38,000 per annum. It also states on their website http://trainedtodo.co.uk/home
    That between £70 & £95 pay for each completed assessment. At £70 per assessment 14 assessments per day for 20 days per month is £19,600 for that month, less NI and tax will be around £12,000 ish .. Not bad huh!
    If £95 per assessment is paid then he’d need to do 10 assessments per day over 20 days per month to gain £19,000 again a take home pay of around £11,500
    If he wasn’t just boasting and I know people do, but if he wasn’t it is possible. Especially if he was making reports based on his opinion alone and without taking any face to face evidence from the people claiming PIP. Do a few reports at home and Bob’s ya uncle into the realms of possibly!! He just neglected to say what his net pay was!
    Capita maintains they don’t pay that much, but it’s there on their website.

  11. Cthulhu

    Do ya know what I hope for? His job coach at his local Jobcentre is a right b*ll breaker and makes his life a living hell! He deserves so much more! What goes around……

Comments are closed.