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The Disability News Service is reporting that a work and pensions committee inquiry into PIP and ESA assessments has received more evidence from the public than any other investigation ever held by a House of Commons select committee. Benefits and Work readers have played a large part in setting that record.

The inquiry was launched on 29 September 2017. Members of the public and professionals were invited to give their experiences of PIP and ESA assessments.

Usually such inquiries will attract 100 or so posts and a similar number of written responses. This time the final total was 2,828 posts and 450 written submissions.

18 days after the inquiry began, on 17 October, there had been just over 500 responses on the online forum. That was the date on which we encouraged our readers to take part.

In the next 24 days, until the forum closed on 10 November, the number of responses increased more than fivefold to a final total of 2,828 responses.

The number of posts was so unexpected that they have still not all been published.

The committee have said on their website:

“We have received an overwhelming response on this forum and we are really grateful to all of you who have posted. We moderate this forum so posts that breach discussion rules do not appear: please bear with us while we approve and post the comments you've sent us. Please be assured we are reading them all, and what you have told us will contribute to our inquiry.”

We have no doubt that Benefits and Work readers played a huge part in ensuring that the committee was given a very clear idea of the strength of feeling about PIP and ESA assessments.

The committee will start taking oral evidence next week, beginning with 5 PIP and ESA claimants and 4 advice workers.

You can read the full DNS story here and you can view the web forum posts here.


#8 Lesley Scott 2017-11-29 20:07
I didn't know about this and would like to add my comment that the DWP have put me through h*ll since 2013 with regard to being switched from IB to ESA. I had to go to mandatory reconsideration which was rejected and then to appeal which I won thanks to yourselves and Age UK as I had been wrongly put into the WRAG as opposed to the Support Group. The stress of all this at the same time as my Mum was terminally ill in another part of the UK meant that I was too ill to be able to go and spend any quality time with her before she was too ill to do anything and died. I was at her funeral the day the 'decision maker' (somewhat Stalinist title) put me in the WRAG when he couldn't reach me on the landline. Appointments were repeatedly cancelled and rearranged by them at short notice but when I wanted/needed to do the same they would not comply. It seemed to me that the DWP were going out of their way to be difficult. I ended up feeling like life which is difficult enough with ME/CFS without DWP hassle was not worth living and ended up on anti depressants and rushed into hospital on 2 occasions - the 2nd the night before another face to face assessment when I inexplicably collapsed and was unconscious for 5 hours before coming around and being discharged. I was put in the Support Group and six months later received another ESA50 to fill in. I sent an email to my MP (and a copy to my GP to get it on file in my medical records) and my MP was fantastic contacting the DWP on my behalf and succeeded in halting the process when I had been unable to. I think it's absolutely disgraceful the attitude this government and the DWP have to the weakest and most vulnerable in society - the sick and disabled. ME/CFS is not a lifestyle choice. I worked in the NHS, The Charitable Sector and Education for over 2 decades before becoming too unwell to work and I don't deserve to be made to feel a worthless waste of space workshy scrounger and neither do the millions like me.
+1 #7 George black 2017-11-29 15:16
i'm just really surprised that this government hasn't labelled all disabled people as " LIFE UNWORTHY OF LIFE " just like what hitler and the Nazi's did, and start a euthanasia program for all of us.....!!!!!!!
#6 Nanny Redd 2017-11-27 19:04
I am waiting to hear about a tribunal as my PIP was stopped August this year after an assessment which left me very distressed.The HCP has misrepresented a lot of what my daughter,who accompanied me and I said
#5 Jo2468 2017-11-25 16:30
Hi, I've only just subscribed today,but thankfully my MP informed me about the inquiry and had my say. I at present have a second tier level complaint going through regarding ATOS and the HCP. (They incidentally refused to raise a complaint initially) The HCP blatantly lied on her report. I received my mandatory reconsideration letter today and they have again refused PIP. So I will be taking them to tribunal. Again....the first decision is markedly different from the mandatory reconsideration . I have complex ptsd, anxiety, social anxiety and severe depression along with sadly physical problems. My MP has been supportive and I am hoping that I can prepare fully for my tribunal without causing any further debilitating stress. I have been humiliated and degraded without any valid reason by ATOS and the DWP. The HCP took very little on board as to how my illnesses affect me and blatantly lied. I received really nice e-mail from my MP s representative stating that Scotland are working towards a fairer system of assessment and that ATOS and the like or any private company will not be used to assess. That will take time but they are heading in the right direction. The HCP was a general nurse.
+1 #4 Amy8596 2017-11-24 18:45
You can still email your comments to the committee. I did and was sent an email saying that if accepted, it would be up on the website in the next 2 weeks.
+2 #3 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2017-11-20 14:28
At the end of the day the DWP will only do what they want to do. Tories rule the roost, and implement it by causing more austerity, hence poverty, and misery to the sick & disabled. But big thanks to all who help the fight against this.
+1 #2 Camly91 2017-11-19 11:48
I wanted to submit but didnt manage to. Huge thanks to all of you who did
+3 #1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2017-11-18 00:57
That's great news to hear there's been an overwhelming response to this I really do hope this can and will make a difference to the way we are treated by these thugs.

Well done to John prings DNS site for pushing to help the disabled, also a big well done to all that contributed to this cause and telling your story. :-)

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