Tory-run DWP’s impossible demand over recording of assessment interviews

Do you think this is corrupt?

The Department for Work and Pensions has demanded that anybody who wants their benefit assessment interview recorded must pay £1,400 for specialist recording equipment.

The Tory-run government department says people applying for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) must buy a NEAL CD Interview Recorder, costing £1,400, or the evidence won’t be accepted.

This creates an impossible dilemma for claimants. If the interview isn’t recorded, they can’t challenge the DWP on a decision based on lies.

But if someone can afford to splurge £1,400 on recording equipment, why do they need to claim benefits?

At least, that will be the question asked by the DWP.

But the real question should be this: People have been demanding the opportunity to have assessments recorded for at least six years. Why hasn’t the DWP invested in the equipment itself?

This is especially perplexing as demand for such recordings increased from nine, according to Mark Hoban in 2013, to thousands, according to iNews in 2016. But the DWP had still failed to invest in the necessary equipment.

Back in 2013, Mr Hoban said the benefits had to be balanced against the costs.

At the time, I suggested that the costs would be offset by the savings from having to hold fewer appeal tribunals. Today, we can add savings from fewer benefit reviews.

Another time (in an article I can’t locate at the moment), I pointed out that all assessors have all the equipment they need to provide adequate recordings – because they all use laptop computers that are capable of recording sound.

The only obstacle is the DWP’s own refusal to accept such evidence.

So it seems clear that the whole issue of recording PIP assessments has been unnecessarily complicated by the DWP and the Conservative government running it.

The Labour Party has promised to change the system – and we have an election coming up on December 12.

Will you vote the Tories out and help bring sanity back into the benefit system?

Source: Disabled benefit claimants ‘told they must fork out £1,400 to record interviews’ – Mirror Online

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11 thoughts on “Tory-run DWP’s impossible demand over recording of assessment interviews

  1. Random Bloke

    As bad as this is, the bigger problem is still the knowledge gap and lack of technical know how on the part of the person claiming or their representative/advocate.

    Its simply unprecedented to have to come into these meetings/assessments with levels of preparation in place akin to paralegals work when you consider the amount of framework/regulation you need to remember as well as the the evidence gathering.

    It boils down to the same conclusion that these changes are in place to get people off the benefit at any human cost.

    They don’t care if you get better, go to prison, find work, get homeless or die.
    It is a positive outcome all the same to them, the government get their massaged figures, the agent gets their commission.

    Well over 100k deaths and counting.. imagine if we did this in any other country what the fallout would be politically.

  2. Paul

    On top of everything else, isn’t it odd that they’re forcing people to buy from a specific company? Wonder if Coffey has any stake in NEAL? Either way you’d think government colluding with a company like that to the exclusion of their competition would be cause for some upset (upset of a kind they actually care about too: people dying? Who gives a toss. Interfering with the market? Lawyers assemble!)

  3. trev

    I don’t see why it should be recorded on/by specific equipment, what possible difference can it make? In criminal cases Police and Courts would probably accept any form of recording as evidence, whether done on a mobile phone, or an old fashioned answering machine, or whatever.

  4. terminator

    The DWP are changing the rules again. If I wanted mine recording I will do it covertly with a dictaphone. Greyling said in 2012 that anyone who wants their assessment recording can have it recorded, I forget the correct wording he used. It was for ESA but IMHO it should be for ALL ASSESSMENTS. It should also be video so all the assessment is recorded whether a home assessment or not.

    Even an interview under caution at the DWP office should be recorded and a copy given to the claimant.
    Many who are forced into taking their own equipment will take two tape recorders costing around £15 each and a couple of 120 minute tapes, I would call this a reasonable adjustment for the recording equipment.

  5. terminator

    Another question if they can afford to pay the £61.20 a week for a Mobility car then why do they feel they have to spend £1400 plus VAT on the recorder without the car they could buy two recorders but the care component £87.65 would allow them to purchase three recorders. I would take the DWP to court stating that their terms are unfair on people with disabilities, it’s discrimination.

    What I would do is buy one tape recorder at £15 and use a mobile phone for my copy with a mini SD card, it’s a duel recording so what have the DWP third party got against it? Even one recorder and a dictaphone would be a duel recording with the tape given to the HP and the dictaphone as the claimants copy.

  6. loonytoonz

    Hadn’t it been approved/agreed that assessments would be recorded as standard? When Amber Rudd took over as Secretary of State for DWP or very early in her tenure? I’m sure that’s ringing a bell in my head.
    Although even if on the off chance that ringing bell is on the right track, making/changing it to putting the onus on us to provide exact equipment DWP specify at our own expense to be considered as valid is a typically devious and underhand way of preventing it!

  7. Stella salter

    Definafely…mabe the question should be how dwp were permitted to fausely adverts.. For hundreds of thousands of pounds.. Found to be completely missleading claiments… But can’t cough up funding for recording apparatus… As this would prove that dwp is bending.. Breaking rules and lying.. Altering information about claimants true health issues.. Dwp should be held responsible for the thousands of claimants who have already died.. Due to their massive blunders… But no they will get away with it.. As dwp holds the carpet up.. So the gov. Can sweep all their mistakes away.. And nothing more is said!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      That is a brilliant question: Why could the DWP afford to spend – more than a million pounds, wasn’t it? – on false advertising for Universal Credit, but didn’t have any money to buy recording equipment for benefit assessment interviews?

  8. Mark allinson

    And if anybody was to secretly record it on your mobile phone they won’t use it in court nobody on benefits could afford the recording equipment and even if a person could borrow it and use it the assessment person could turn around and say no they don’t want recorded and even refuse to do the assessment and automatically fail you or be recorded and still fail you either way the lying assessment workers win Aswel as the DWP it’s well known that the assessment workers get a bonus for every person they fail I’ve had it myself on the fit for work test they lied from start to finish. Not just lie they even used my now ex partners medical records against my own and the uc50 form what was filled in by citizens advice the DWP say they lost it my claim was made before the cab done the deal with the DWP and when I contacted the cab for a copy of the UC50 form they came out with different excuses 1st was it had been deleated of the computer and the 2nd was it was never saved on the computer even when I gave my permission I’ve been fighting for 4 1/2 years and the DWP hate anybody who don’t give up and fight so if this gets published and shown for people to read I’ve got some advice DON’T GIVE UP AND FIGHT.

  9. The Toffee (597)

    Since WHEN have the DWP had the authority to determine what constitues legally accpetable evidence? That’s for the courts to decide if they accept it or not.

    e.g. It’d be like me getting caught shopliftng on CCTV telling the judge not to accept the footage because it wasn’t recorded using a brand I’ve recommended.

    GDPR says I can record for ‘personal data’ whatever. I can apply to have that heard as evidence and that’ll be at the judge’s discretion.

    Also, as far as I’m aware , if the assessor is not a qualified professional within the field I am being assessed for (eg a physio assessing a mental health patient) then there is no DWP claim to ‘legal professional privelege’

Comments are closed.