Tories are attacking disabled people again while we’re looking the other way

The Conservative government has changed its assessment process for disability benefits to make it harder for people to get a correct decision on their claim – it seems.

The Tory miniser for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson, revealed details of the secret change in a letter to the Commons Work and Pensions committee, after its chair, Stephen Timms, raised the issue on behalf of claimants.

It has been usual practice for claimants to request and receive a copy of their assessment report within days of the report being submitted to the DWP.

They have been able to request a copy of their report, check it thoroughly, raise any issues with the assessment providers and receive responses before they have received the decision.

In a fair, sane system, this is appropriate. So of course the Tories have changed it.

In a letter dated September 16, Tomlinson MP wrote:

“The department does not share assessment provider reports with claimants before they have been considered by a DWP Case Manager.”

This is because:

“Providing the report to claimants immediately after the assessment and before the Case Manager has made their decision could therefore give a false impression on the outcome of their claim.”

This will make it much harder for claimants to demand the mandatory review that the Tories insist they have to endure before appealing against a wrong decision.

It can take up to 15 weeks for claimants to receive the decision. Once they do, and if they disagree with it, they will have about three weeks – or less – to make a request for a mandatory review. 

The 30+ page assessment report is a key part of the process and it will take about 10 days from requesting a copy to receiving it.

This leaves very little time for them to see the recommendations made, to analyse the report, to check it for accuracy, to see if there are any errors, and to prepare and send a request for MR if necessary.

Many people with disabilities are very weak, due to their condition, and do not have the strength of will needed to push through a dispute with the government that has a short time limit.

You can be sure the Tories had this in mind when they secretly made this cruel change.

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  1. Julia September 26, 2020 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    I am convinced that the chaos and confusion – and headlines such as the Prime Minister in name only complaining about the ‘difficulty of managing on his income’ – constantly sown by this appalling ‘government’ is a deliberate strategy to ‘hide in plain sight’ on going attacks against the pitiful shreds of democracy still left in England. This further attack (I have lost count of the number since 2010) on the rights of the disabled and sick being a prime example. In ‘normal’ times it would I am sure be given more prominence but will now be hidden amongst more ‘news’. I feel utter despair at the future facing millions of English ‘subjects’ in the next decade. And very sadly, it seems all hope of a socialist opposition is gone…..

  2. Matthew Whitmore September 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm - Reply

    They never stopped. Now instead of “Home assessments “before the assessors turn their creative writing talents on the assessment reports. We now have phone assessments. So now they can lie about a disability assessment without even seeing anyone.

    • jgwood34 September 27, 2020 at 11:38 am - Reply

      i know of one person who had a phone assessment, amazing how they diagnosed the person’s walking ability over a phone, fortunately at mandatory phase it was overturned, i have advised anyone that is asked to have a phone assessment to tell the assessor that it is being recorded, long as you tell them that it is there choice, they don’t like it tough, ask for a face to face medical which wont happen in the foreseeable future and will be good if you wear masks and glasses and have to maintain a 2 metre distance

  3. Jeffrey Davies September 26, 2020 at 5:27 pm - Reply

    Aktion T4 rolling along with out much of a ado

  4. jgwood34 September 26, 2020 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    make the request in every instance under gdpr, i would hand or send a letter as soon as you had the assessment

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