By John Pring Disability News Service August 10th 2017
A Labour MP is to push for a Commons debate on evidence of widespread dishonesty among healthcare professionals who assess disabled people for the government’s new personal independence payment (PIP).
Disability News Service (DNS) has been investigating allegations that healthcare professionals working for government contractors Atos and Capita have been lying in their assessment reports.
The number of cases in which disabled PIP claimants say their assessor clearly lied in their reports has now topped 200.
The DNS investigation has revealed that assessors working for Capita and Atos – most of them nurses – have repeatedly lied, ignored written evidence and dishonestly reported the results of physical examinations.
Last week, DWP, Capita and Atos all refused again to launch inquiries into the claims of widespread dishonesty.
Now, following a meeting with DNS, Neil Coyle – a member of the influential Commons work and pensions select committee – has agreed to take up the concerns after parliament’s summer recess.
Following that meeting, DNS sent the Labour MP an anonymised version of the database of all the 200-plus cases.
And with the claimants’ permission, DNS has now shared details of more than 20 of those cases with Coyle, who has previously worked as a director of Disability Rights UK, and for the former Disability Rights Commission.
He hopes to use some of these cases to push for action when parliament resumes its work after recess, including seeking a possible backbench debate in the House of Commons.
Coyle said: “I’m very concerned at the volume and persistent nature of complaints about inaccurate and in too many cases what appear to be dishonest assessments.
“We know PIP was designed under the coalition to cut help to half a million disabled people, but the assessment process itself appears badly broken already and repeating mistakes of the work capability assessment.
“I will be pushing further on this when parliament returns and hope the work and pensions select committee also takes it up.”
The committee had been investigating the PIP assessment process earlier this year, but its inquiry had to be abandoned when prime minister Theresa May called the general election.
But statements that had already been submitted to the committee had provided further evidence of widespread dishonesty.
Inclusion London, the pan-London disabled people’s organisation, said in its evidence: “Again and again Disabled people are reporting that assessors have ignored written and verbal evidence and that reports do not reflect what occurred in the assessment.”
It is not yet clear whether the committee will relaunch its inquiry into the PIP assessment process when MPs return after the summer recess.
6 thoughts on “Labour MP to push for action on widespread claims of PIP assessment lies”
Its not just pip they are lying about its also the health assessments the DWP send you on my doctor says iam unfit for work but atos lied and declared me fit for work and the DWP keep over ruling my doctors sick note by saying I was found fit for work or be sanctioned
At my 2014 PIP F2F the HP said my evidence was old I quickly replied “It’s still bloody relevent though!”
It doesn’t matter about dates if the sent information is still about a condition you suffer from it still it’s relevent!
Hi Mark, yes GP evidence doesn’t seem to be accepted at all does it? In my case a letter written by my GP was accepted when I was assessed for ESA declated fir for work and put into the WRAG group. I was moved into the support group on the strength of that letter but when soon after I had to apply for PIP it seems it was ignored and I lost my request for a Mandaory Reconsideration and then lost my appeal. We provide what they ask for then it is not accepted and on top of that we have to have the added indignity of having bare faced lies told about us.
It’s so bloody annoying, this happened to a member of my family, who really wasn’t well enough to attend the medical, on receiving the report to say he was fit enough for work and reading his medical answers ,he said the majority was not what he said, ,he then went to visit his g,p who was shocked by this,then gave him a sick note,to which the dwp refused to accept it,and said he must apply for universal credit,,so basically they overrule a g,p and his consultant, ,I’m so annoyed,
I recently contacted my housing association to get help from their benefit advisors with a view to re-applying for PIP after the lies that were told about my assessment. It came as no surprise when a lady rang me to say that due to cutbacks they no longer offer help filling in forms but after telling her the details of my assessment experience and the fact that I lost my appeal she said she would see if she could find an advisor in the area who can help me. She also mentioned that the DWP themselves can send someone to your home to help you fill out the form?! how is that going to work in anyone’s favour?!
By the way are posts removed after a certain time? can’t find my first one? tried to submit a query but the captcha thing kept telling me it was inccorrect (a thousand times??)
I am still reeling from the lies in both my assessment reports for ESA and PIP but I am also starting to feel a little stronger and want to do something about it so I’m hoping to contact Neil Coyle directly and would like to suggest that everyone who is concerned about this does the same. Also I have found the following link where you can send complaints by email or print out the form and post it which is what I am going to do…Solidarity!