Login FormClose

Free, fortnightly PIP, ESA and UC Updates

Our fortnightly bulletin, with over 80,000 subscribers, is the UK's leading source of benefits news. Find out what's changing, how it affects you and how to prepare. Our mailing list is securely managed by icontact in the US.

A female victim of an acid attack had to endure the distress of attending a tribunal to get her ESA restored despite having 50% burns to her face and body.

In yet another example of the heartlessness of the work capability assessment process, the anonymous victim was awarded 0 points on reassessment for ESA.

Yet the claimant had undergone repeated episodes of reconstructive surgery, suffered severe physical and mental health issues as a result of the attack and can neither sit nor stand for any length of time without pain.

She rarely leaves her home except for visits to her GP, the hospital and the local shops.

A Maximus health professional found that the claimant had no problems with any of the activities in the work capability assessment and awarded her zero points, in spite of the fact that she had previously been in receipt of ESA.

Yet a tribunal took less than 20 minutes to conclude that the claimant scored 24 points and was entitled to ESA.

The claimant was represented by a pro bono solicitor from Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre because legal aid is no longer available in the overwhelming majority of benefits cases.

Her representative told the Guardian:

“This case should not have been before a tribunal. Already our client is suffering from life-changing burns that have a significant impact on her physical and mental health. The anxiety of appealing the decision and attending a tribunal has been extremely upsetting.”

You can read the full story in the Guardian

Comments  

+1 #2 kris 2019-04-24 13:26
One has to wonder why the decision maker / health professional / whoever decided to award her zero points. Is this because of a failure of the design of the assessment process or some person being vindictive and purposefully giving zero points to someone who obviously should have been awarded points?

Do the DWP have internal investigations when such cases crop up? Are there people working for the DWP / Maximus / etc who shouldn't be in the job, or need retraining, or should maybe be reprimanded or even sacked?

Maybe in such cases, the tribunal themselves should launch an investigation as to why the original decision was made?

Someone needs to take responsibility for these failures.
+1 #1 Mr B 2019-04-23 18:24
A new low even by the DWP's already abysmally low standards!

You need to be logged in to comment