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Department for Work and Pensions: Not to be trusted to judge benefit claims?

There are two sides to this question.

On one, as “some researchers” mentioned in the Disability News Service article – quoted below – make clear, DWP decision-makers are said to be upholding too many of the recommendations by discredited government contractors Atos and Capita.

But on the other, we are faced with the possibility of DWP decision-makers deciding cases on a political basis, under orders from the Conservative government – and we know that those orders would be to fail a high percentage of claims.

From This Writer’s point of view, it seems the appeal process is vital; it is its slowness that should be questioned.

Claimants have to go through a process called Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) before they can even start an appeal against a wrong decision, and this can leave them penniless and struggling to survive for months at a time.

This is highly prejudicial against innocent people who have made their benefit claims in good faith, and whose health may suffer in the time they are forced to wait.

I would call for MR to be scrapped and the appeal process to be sped up, for the sake of claimants’ health.

New figures show that Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) civil servants are questioning only a tiny proportion of the benefit assessment reports written by discredited government contractors Atos and Capita.

Campaigners have been trying for months to secure evidence that would explain why such a high proportion of personal independence payment (PIP) claims that are taken to appeal are successful.

Figures from social security tribunals show the proportion of claimants who won their PIP appeals rose by seven percentage points in a year, from 64 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 to 71 per cent in the same period of 2017-18.

The new figures, secured by Disability News Service (DNS) through a freedom of information request, may help to explain why so many appeals are successful.

Source: DWP figures provide fresh evidence to explain PIP claim rejections

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