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In a statement made earlier this month the government announced that it was extending the contracts for Capita and Atos to carry out PIP assessments for a further two years, in spite of widespread anger at the standard of those assessments. As a concession to the level of disquiet the government also announced a pilot project to video record PIP assessments.

In her statement, Sarah Newton, Minister of State for Disabled People, said:

“A key part of our efforts to improve the assessment process will be making video recording of the PIP assessment a standard part of the process. We will be piloting videoing the assessment with a view to then rolling this out across Great Britain.”

However, until now recording of benefits assessments has always been audio only.

Video recordings may have some advantages over audio in terms of evidence. For example, it might make it clearer whether claimants were able to carry out any movements that the assessor asked them to.

However, some people may feel considerable disquiet at being video-taped whilst taking part in what can be a very intrusive process.

They may also have concerns about how secure those videos may be and how long they will be kept by the DWP.

We would be very interested to know what Benefits and Work readers think about the idea of the DWP video recording your PIP assessment rather than audio recording it.

Please leave a comment below.


#28 KevinJ 2018-11-29 15:24
Any recording, whether video or audio (or combined) need the consent of the claimant. It's intrusive for some and welcomed by others. It has to be consensual. I have a recent letter from ATOS in response to a complaint and they admitted that PIP assessments can cause "distress and sometimes mistrust". The fact is they have caused this mistrust and it's quite something when the government sees the need to record these assessments, which are by and large based on the mistruths that some HP's use in their assessments. In my case I was successfully moved from DLA to PIP. It's a medical assessment and not a police interview!
#27 Andria 2018-11-28 19:27
Definitely not. One of my health issues makes me paranoid enough. Having a camera on me during ANY interview would tip me over the edge. Plus last time when it was just audio,
Whatever happened to privacy in the 21st Century for goodness sake
+2 #26 Astergroup 2018-08-10 15:47
How do you get around the issue of someone having to remove clothing where it is necessary, not sure I would want that videoing
+2 #25 Squirrel 2018-08-04 16:01
Good grief no, just audio please. It would just add to the trauma.
+2 #24 ALISON SWANN 2018-06-30 17:16
I don't think The assessments should be videod.It is intrusive and demeaning and to what end.In my opinion an audio recording would be preferable.
+2 #23 Vicky 2018-06-24 18:54
Would holding video images of me mean that the DWP could use my image/assessmen t for training purposes? A news item? A reality tv show? The thought is terrifying!
+2 #22 Vicky 2018-06-24 18:52
I have very mixed feelings about this. I had a face-to-face assessment for PIP just over 7 weeks ago, and have just received my rejection letter from the decision maker. I haven't yet seen the medical report.

On the plus side for videoing assessments, this would enable the shocking number of lies told by the Health Professional (HP) to be exposed/prevent ed. It would also reveal inappropriate behaviour by the HP.

On the down side, I think it would make a very stressful situation potentially terrifying.

Whilst a video may show the movements made in the physical examination, it cannot show if the examination is causing pain.

Finally, results could still be subject to misinterpretati on - I was told that I "did not look tired" and "did not appear to be agitated, tense or anxious". I have ME/CFS - an invisible illness, and anxiety. A video would only stop the verbal lies, and could still be "open to interpretation".

I would prefer audio recording, which the DWP claims is available, but it requires us to provide dual recording equipment, so isn't really accessible to many people. However, I can understand why many people would prefer video recording.

Ultimately, it's an expensive solution to a simple problem - the assessments are unfair, the HPs so determined to "fail" people that they lie. Why can't we just have fair assessments?
+3 #21 joss 2018-06-20 18:36
Whilst video/audio recording may offer some degree of protection as to what happens in interview. It will not prevent the assessor from telling a few porkies on paper when they write up the report.
There needs to be very clear guidance written up on how the interviews will be conducted.
Something along the lines of of P.A.C.E Police and criminal evidence.
I am P.A.C.E trained. These codes of practise are needed if video/audio recording is to become the norm for PIP amassments or any other benefits for that matter.
So in short. Until something like the P.A.C.E is in place for these assessments, they should not happen. It's for YOUR protection.
Please follow the link and have a good read.
#20 M.W.Greenslade 2018-06-20 17:36
Ii think it will suit some people more than others, it's a good idea so long as the claimant gets an original unedited copy
#19 KevinJ 2018-06-20 15:30
Any video recording has to be mutually agreed in advance. If there's no choice then it's a breach of Human Rights. The vast majority of claimants are not criminals, but recording assessments in this way, might have that overall stigma. When I attended what should have been a mental health assessment, the assesor (an RN) was checking my knees! I was put in the limited capability for work group, but shortly after that I received a letter saying my DLA was ending. I've connected both events. The idea is to knock you while you're down.
+1 #18 Carole 2018-06-20 15:08
i think it is a good idea providing the claimant can have a copy straight away and not a few days later.
The claimant should be allowed the choice of video or verbal recording at the start of the interview.
-1 #17 biggles1940 2018-06-20 12:25
I think it is absolutely essential that ALL assessments are video recorded to help put an end to the blatant and deliberate lies made by the assessor as I and many others have discovered.
+1 #16 Mary D 2018-06-20 12:14
Absolutely then Assessors will be accountable for any inappropriate comments/action s etc.
+1 #15 Anon1955 2018-06-20 11:48
Double edged sword maybe? If you have nothing to hide, bring it on I say!
+2 #14 lild 2018-06-20 11:44
It should NOT be compulsory, as people with phobias mental health conditions, panic attacks etc would find this very intrusive. It's difficult enough to speak to a "stranger" re toilet issues let alone knhehaving a video of it.
+1 #13 Walter12 2018-06-20 11:23
It seems to me that this is the only way claimants can ensure that they have a correct assessment although I also do feel that it will be intrusive. It is a shame that we now find ourselves in the position of putting up with this intrusion to ensure that we are assessed correctly. Perhaps they ought to do the same for the ESA health assessments.
+1 #12 Brenda 2018-06-20 11:22
Yes, I think that assessments should be videoed, then the claimants would have proof of what has been asked, answered and movements achieved. My assessment was not even voice recorded and there were numerous errors and untruths in the ATOS report. Of course all parties must be made aware of the video recording and, if as one person commented, it would cause undue stress to the claimant, then maybe just a voice recording could be done. The whole process is very distressing and exhausting and we need back-up to prove our cases.
+2 #11 AngieB 2018-06-20 10:23
I am one of those people who freeze in front of a camera. Assessments are already stressful, having to discuss often very sensitive information with a complete stranger, let alone doing it on camera with no idea who will see it. How long would it be before snippets of the most amusing recordings would appear on youtube?
Even knowning the effect on my income, I'm never going to be able to do this.
+1 #10 Autist 2018-06-20 10:08
I have been on DLA for a just a few years now and just received the dreaded letter of a PIP assessment and to telephone them. I have a lifelong disability of Poilo and Post Polio Syndrome diagnosed by my GP. I am still worried about the level of knowledge, care and experience of the PIP assessment "professionals" who do not necessarily have an understanding of the symptoms suffered by those affected by Polio.

These symptoms as well as being physical have many psychological effects and are lifelong usually only deteriorating with age. I think in my case a video recording of the assessment may be a good idea but we should receive the copy ourselves immediately at end of the PIP assessment as a reference. Also, we should be allowed legally to make our own recording if we desire as it addresses the issues of recording images and video from a pre defined and assessed viewpoint that puts us at a disadvantage from a visual point of view. I say this as a photographer and there is more than one valid perspective but not everyone is trained to recognise the advantages or disadvantages of these multi perspectives.
+3 #9 wizard 2018-06-20 10:05
This is a scarey idea! I find official DWP interviews terrifying and this will make it worse. Why not just haul us to the nearest police station and interview us there?!
I have a good friend who takes notes and that works well.
Tape recording wd be far preferable, if they want to do that.

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