It is unacceptable that Work Capability Assessment tests are still being cancelled due to lack of audio recording equipment, three years after this issue was debating in Parliament.
At the time, then-employment minister Mark Hoban told the House of Commons that very few requests had been refused owing to the unavailability of equipment, and in any case it was not legal grounds for delaying an assessment. So, what has changed?
Are more people requesting audio recordings?
If so, why has the DWP failed to invest in enough equipment to carry them out?
Remember, this is a matter that was raised three years ago.
This is unacceptable.
People claiming benefits cannot afford to wait on the ‘assessment’ rate while the DWP dithers. Is this yet another covert strategy to put people off?
[To the Vox Political reader who brought the issue to This Writer’s attention: Thanks.]
Thousands of tests on disabled people to assess their benefit entitlements have been cancelled every week by the companies appointed to carry them out, ministers have admitted.
New figures revealed that around 2.1m appointments for work capability assessment tests have been cancelled in the last five years.
They included about 940,000 cancellations by the contractors appointed to carry them out – equivalent to more than 3,500 a week.
Claimants of employment support allowance (ESA) are required to undergo the tests before they qualify for the benefit.
Frank Field, the chairman of the work and pensions committee, said key reasons for appointments being scrapped were staff shortages and lack of equipment to record the assessments.
He told the i : “It’s unbearable for people at the bottom to be left in the lurch at such short notice.
“To have so few pieces of recording equipment available has bestowed on them the status of a holy relic, upon which the well-being of so many vulnerable and disabled people hinges.”
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