DBC report shows how Atos and Capita will deliver PIP assessment


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A new report published today by the Disability Benefits Consortium (DBC) raises concerns about the delivery of the new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment. People can make new claims for PIP in a few pilot areas from next week and, once fully rolled-out, the benefit will replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

The assessments for PIP will be delivered by different companies in different areas, with the contracts split between Atos Healthcare, who already deliver the controversial Work Capability Assessments (WCAs), and Capita.

The DBC presented both providers with a list of ten pledges for a fair and effective assessment, based on the concerns voiced by those they represent. Both companies have detailed how they will try to meet each pledge, revealing stark differences between providers. For example, Capita will try to ensure applicants with certain conditions will be matched with assessors who have specific expertise in that area, which the DBC believes will lead to fairer outcomes, whereas Atos will randomly assign assessors.

Issues with the assessments could result in applicants not being awarded the benefits they need to help cover the additional costs of having a disability.

Other key issues and differences included:

  • Atos will only offer assessments at home to applicants who meet a range of criteria set out by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), whereas Capita will aim to offer home assessments to around 60% of applicants
  • Capita have asked the DWP to let them offer audio recording of assessments to applicants, but have not yet received permission to do so

Tom Pollard, DBC co-chair and Senior Policy Officer from mental health charity Mind, said:

“The DBC has serious concerns about the abolition of DLA and the introduction of PIP but we also know that the way assessments are delivered is vital. We often hear of applicants’ health deteriorating further as a result of a poorly delivered assessment. Having two assessment providers gives us an opportunity to compare how different approaches work and drive up the quality of assessments for millions of people with disabilities, including mental health problems.”

The DBC is encouraging supporters of its member organisations to contact their MP and highlight concerns about the assessment provider in their area. You can get involved by clicking here.

DBC Co-Chair, Claire Nurden from the MS Society, said:

“The DBC is urging people to contact their MP to let them know about this important report. MPs need to aware of who will be delivering these vital assessments in their constituency and what issues they should be raising with the provider and the Minister for Disabled People.”


  • To read the DBC’s main findings and access the full report and the government’s response, please see our Executive Summary.   
  • PIP is being introduced from April and will eventually replace Disability Living Allowance (DLA), a benefit which helps millions of disabled people with the additional costs they face.
  • Atos will deliver PIP assessments in the south of England, the north of England and Scotland; whilst Capita will be responsible for delivering PIP assessments in central England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although the two companies will be delivering the same assessment in terms of the criteria and threshold, details of the assessment process will differ.
  • From 8 April 2013, DWP will start taking new claims to PIP from people living in the North West and North East of England who are aged 16 to 64. This means that from this date, people living in the following postcode areas will be able to make a new claim to PIP: BL, CA, CH (except CH1, CH4, CH5, CH6, CH7 and CH8), CW, DH, DL (except DL6, DL7, DL8, DL9, DL10 and DL11), FY, L, LA (except LA2 7, LA2 8, LA6 2 and LA6 3), M, NE, PR, SR, TS (except TS9), WA and WN.

Disability Benefits Consortium


‘A Tale of two Models: Disabled People vs Unum, Atos, Government and Disability Charities’ by Debbie Jolly, DPAC Posted on May 31, 2012


12 thoughts on “DBC report shows how Atos and Capita will deliver PIP assessment

  1. Papasmurf says:

    The recording of such assessments is an absolute right for claimants, it needs no-0ne’s permission.

  2. s harvey says:

    People cant face the disgusting treatment ahead,I cant go through this againI have got no fight left. Will anyone do anything to help people with disabilities and mental health we have enough trouble just living. we dont have the strenghth to fight . we need help to fight. They are picking on us as they proberably know we wont protest, but should people not be afriad of governments, or should goverments be afraid of the people. someone somewhere help us to fight this brutal imoral and disgusting treatment of disabled people.

  3. jay says:

    If there is no recording then whoever does the assessment can say anything they like.
    What happens is they add only the useful parts of your answer to their questions to suit their agenda in denying you your benefit.

    The DWP treat Atos reports as gospel, nothing else matters to them. According to the DWP it is an impartial assessment!

    If it was a fair ubiased and impartial report then they would have no objections to the interviews being recorded.

    If you are going for a Atos assessment I would recommend that you say as little as possible, keep your answers to a few words and don’t be drawn into long explanations.

    If you are repeatedly questioned after answering, state that you have given them the answer. If they object to your answers tell them that you don’t feel well and are doing the best you can.

    The less you say the less they have to falsify their report

  4. Brian F Kirkham says:

    Jay, right about now – I’ve got an interesting dilemma. Created by this crackpot system we all know as the Welfare Programme….In reading the comments on the board you guys have given me the one thing this government took away – HOPE – You see, it was the DWP who got me on Workfare – with No Support – which led to me losing the job I had, and being put on IB/ESA – Now, several shrinks and quacks during this process said (AND I QUOTE…) “Given Your circumstances, You shouldn’t be working” – still got the mountain of papers in the office. So, Now our Friends at ATOS have had a look at the same evidence, same reports (Couldn’t have spent >1 Minute looking at it all!) but have deemed me fit for work – WITHOUT SEEING ME! Do I go without my ESA – or do I report back to Jobcentre Plus SEEMINGLY fit as a fiddle?!?…scratch that…I went the other week – and found (laughing my head off) ALL my records relating to the Jobcentre had gone walkabout off their system!!! one Quick Interrogation of Desk Officer later – I’m still on ESA… So given the three parties playing on the Jobcentre roundabout aren’t talking to one another and are kind of making me dizzy in the process, WHAT would you have me do DEPARTMENT OF “WORK” (Laughs)?

  5. g taylor says:

    I recently went for the atos medical retired on ill health with spine disease occupationl health consultant report orthapeadic specialist report provided .Atos registered nurse said these are irrelavent.When i read the medical report i realised i was dealing either with a liar or a gross incompetant rgn.13 points he got wrong.

  6. jay says:

    Atos employees are liars, that is why they don’t want these assessments being recorded. What other reason could there be?

    These assessments are loaded against you in the first place without supposed health professionals falsifying reports. Make no mistake what they are doing is a criminal offence yet Atos seem to be immune (at the moment)
    Incompetent is too kind a word for them. These people are an absolute disgrace to their profession. What kind of nurse or doctor would work for Atos? Only the lowest of the low.
    These are not your usual caring NHS Doctors and Nurses.

    Make sure you get your appeal in. With your specialist and GP’s help, their written evidence will overturn this stupid decision by Atos/DWP.
    The best of luck to you

  7. geoffrey taylor says:

    we all have experienced the lies atos have used on our assessment I myself contacted the n.c.m.to complain about the rgn who assessed me and was informed by them that no atos rgn had been disciplined as a result of a complaint, and there had been many.Surely as an rgn they have a code of conduct and the n.c.m. should take action if this conduct is broken! What is going on.

  8. Sheogorath says:

    I’m kinda relieved. Although I’ll be on less money for the same entitlement (high rate care and low rate mobility), at least I’ll have a somewhat sympathetic Capita assessor because I live in Derbyshire, which is in central England. Still have to leave my home to face a jerkwad for my ESA WCA, however.

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