[Image: www.disabledgo.com]

It’s all very well for Parliament to say a “substantial minority” of PIP claimants have been failed by the system – but it’s the way the system has failed them that matters.

The report quoted below mentions individuals who were asked when they caught congenital conditions, or why they had not committed suicide. I myself could produce dozens of such cases. All I have to do is ask.

And there are probably hundreds – thousands? – of cases in which assessors have lied about a claimant’s abilities.

So Parliament can play down the numbers if MPs wish to do so, but you need to remember that even one per cent of the three million claims that have been made since 2013 comes to 30,000 people. And I would expect a “substantial minority” to be much larger than that.

This report will shame the Conservative government to its core. Anything less will be a whitewash.

A “substantial minority” of long-term disability benefit claimants are being failed by an assessment system that is too often undermined by basic errors, insensitivity and ignorance about people’s conditions, MPs have said.

A report by the work and pensions select committee highlighted a person with Down’s syndrome asked when they “caught” it, a woman reporting frequent suicidal thoughts asked why she had not yet killed herself, and someone whose assessment said she walked a dog daily, when she can barely walk and does not own a dog.

The MPs will next week publish the full findings of their investigation into the personal independence payment (Pip) and employment support allowance (ESA) systems. The two benefits support disabled people and those with long-term health conditions.

The committee, chaired by the Labour MP Frank Field, said it was “so impressed and moved” by the 4,000-plus individual submissions it received after asking for people’s experiences of the system – a record number for a select committee inquiry – that it decided to publish a separate report highlighting them.

The 39-page document, released on Friday, stressed that Pip and ESA, for which assessments are carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by contractors including Capita and Atos, work well for the majority of claimants. It also noted that while the overwhelming majority of the responses were negative, this was to be expected, as these people were more likely to want to speak out.

Source: ‘Substantial minority’ of disability claimants failed by system – MPs | Politics | The Guardian


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