The testing of video recording of PIP assessments goes live this month, the government has announced. At the same time they also claimed that customer satisfaction with PIP has skyrocketed to almost 90% and appeal rates are falling.
Sarah Newton, minister for disabled people, health and work, told MPs last week that:
There has been a 15% drop in the number of PIP appeals.
The customer satisfaction rating for PIP has risen from 76% to 87%.
PIP assessments consistently meet their quality target, which is over 90%.
As Benefits and Work revealed last year, an extraordinary 56% of Capita’s and 30% of Atos’ PIP assessments were found to be unacceptable - until the DWP changed the criteria in 2016 and the figures dramatically improved.
And as we discovered this year, PIP customer satisfaction surveys are based on a single question being put to claimants by telephone in a process that is not anonymous and is almost certainly carried out before the claimant has their PIP result, when most would prefer not to upset the assessor or the DWP.
In spite of this wealth of apparently positive data, the minister went on to say that:
“I am pleased to say, however, that our plans for the video recording of the assessments are going very well, and the live testing trial will start later this month.”
Benefits and Work is still not aware of any research which supports the idea that PIP claimants would prefer video recording of assessments to the less obtrusive audio recording.
At this stage we also don’t know whether claimants will have the option to have the cameras switched off and sound only to be recorded.
We will keep readers informed as more information becomes available.
We’d be very pleased to hear from anyone who finds themselves involved in the PIP assessment video testing.