Will disability health assessment recording plan cut errors in DWP decisions?

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced plans to record all disability benefit assessments:

Plans to move to a new telephony platform during 2024 and make enhancements to the Video Assessment application … will bring the ability to record all disability health benefit consultations.

The update comes just a week after the publication of a report from the Work and Pensions Committee into the health assessments system used by people who cannot work or face extra costs due to disability or ill-health to access vital benefits.

The report contained a proposal from the chair, Sir Stephen Timms MP for all assessments to be recorded by default, with an option for claimants to opt-out.

The cross-party committee of MPs said that footage could then be used to review cases more accurately without having to go to appeal, and help assessors learn from past mistakes. It added that some of the suggestions could drive down the high rate of decisions reversed on appeal, which still stands at 69 per cent for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

This is the part that encourages This Writer.

This Site has long publicised the belief that assessors from the private companies hired by the DWP to make recommendations on benefit claims have disqualified claimants for false reasons.

The answer – recording the assessments – has (also) long been known, but has been resisted by the DWP on the basis that it insisted on specific – expensive – equipment being used.

It seems that stipulation has now been rendered pointless due to advances in technology, and the government has at last bowed to the inevitable. The change is expected to come into effect next year.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, of course.

I certainly hope that benefit assessments after the new recording guidelines come into force show a marked increase in approvals – and that the number of appeals drops as a result. They are a waste of tribunal time.

fear that the DWP and the assessment firms will merely find another excuse to disqualify people who genuinely deserve help.

We’ll have to keep a very close eye on this one.

Source: DWP announces plans to record all disability health assessments on new system from next year – Daily Record


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1 thought on “Will disability health assessment recording plan cut errors in DWP decisions?

  1. Chris Sterry commenting

    I completely agree that something is needed to reduce errors, either accidental or not, but will it.

    Well there will be proof to show errors have occurred, so eventually assessors wil get the message that they have to be much more diligent in the assessments.

    Then the frequency of appeals will reduce, but in reality the benefit system needs to be more accommodating, especially to those with invisabile disabilities, for not all disabilities are visible.

    Also the times taken to get through the assessment process have to be much improved and the commencement of paying them, waiting months is not acceptable.

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