We all thought this kind of ignorance from disability benefit assessors had disappeared but here it is again

Michael Gibson, 36, said his Parkinson’s symptoms were made much worse as he was being assessed for personal independence payments [Image: PA].

As recently as Tuesday (September 12), This Writer was talking about the bad old days of disability benefit assessment to an acquaintance.

I referred to the infamous incident in which a claimant who happened to be an amputee was asked how long it would be until their limb grew back.

I said: “Thank goodness that doesn’t happen any more!”

How wrong I was.

The following happened to – of all people – a TV producer.

Now, you might think somebody working in television would have all the money they need in any case, but it turns out not to be the case.

Besides, Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was intended to provide extra help for people with disabilities and long-term conditions to get on with their lives, and we were all told that the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) served the same purpose.

Clearly, that isn’t the case, because Mr Gibson showed a clear need for a mobility car, and his assessors took it away.

PIP is clearly a step backwards and I would urge any future Labour government to scrap it.

It isn’t intended to help the disabled; it seems clear that it is about harming them instead.

Michael Gibson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease when he was just 18.

But despite Parkinson’s being a serious, progressive neurological illness with no known cure, the 36-year-old from Chorley says assessors who were deciding whether he could keep his mobility car asked him when his condition would clear up.

TV producer Michael says he relies on his mobility car to get to work at MediaCity in Salford because he cannot manage the 30-minute train and 20-minute tram journey because of his condition. Parkinson’s can affect movement and can leave him stiff and struggling to walk.

When his wife was on maternity leave, he was reassessed from the old Disability Living Allowance to the new Personal Independent Payments and was told he would lose his car.

Mr Gibson said he had a “terrible” experience with his PIP assessors, adding: “At one point I was asked how long would I have Parkinson’s for, and another assessor told me that I wouldn’t be eligible before she’d even started the assessment.

“Assessors are determining people’s futures with very little or no knowledge of the conditions people are living with.”

Source: Disability assessors asked: ‘how long will you have Parkinson’s for?’ – The i newspaper online iNews


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11 thoughts on “We all thought this kind of ignorance from disability benefit assessors had disappeared but here it is again

  1. M this

    These accessors are so bloody ignorant and Dwp I took them to tribunal court and beat them hands down after they put me threw hell and kept me on low level monies when should be on top line they argued they wouldn’t change there view of the liar in the medical after home visit threw broken spine and smashed tail bone removed all in my head they said upmteen times so ignorant having same problems with the ignorant medical boards again now !!! I will take back to court but this time I will be suing them for harassment and bullying behaviour so discriminating against me as a disabled person not having it next step is headlines if every national newspaper they will be named and shamed

    1. wildswimmerpete

      Even Atos specifically had assessments done by a qualified doctor for some serious illnesses such as heart failure and stroke. Even Aspergers had to be assessed by a doctor.

  2. Barry Davies

    It seems that the government doesn’t want anyone who might cost them money, 6 years of the endless “for hardworking people”, mantra from Cameron has only served to enhance peoples views that the unemployed, the sick the disabled and the incapacitated are worthless.

  3. argotina1

    I attended an assessment where the claimant was asked wt what age did her sickle cell trait start. When we explained that it was genetic so she had it from birth, the assessor insisted on a starting date and finally wrote down the age at which she was diagnosed.

  4. Joan

    I hope Mr Gibson reported these so-called professionals to their professional bodies (GNC, GMC etc) or the HCPC. People working in healthcare should work within their sphere of knowledge. That is what there professional codes of conduct require them to do. If they step outside it then they are working in unethical and unprofessional manner. And they should be assessed themselves to see if they have behaved in a way that is professional misconduct.

    1. disabledgrandad

      >>I hope Mr Gibson reported these so-called professionals to their professional bodies (GNC, GMC etc) or the HCPC.

      Sorry but pointless tried that myself but as there working for a private company you can only talk to them. Even if they are using the name doctor etc it stinks they trade on provisional quantification then the boards of these companies wipes there hand and says not out problem gov.

      The whole system stinks of corruption from the top to bottom the only person that can give a truly honest look of your health is your GP!

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