Eight years after the benefit was introduced, the DWP have still not got a system in place for recording PIP face-to-face assessments, which resumed for some claimants from 17 May, 2021.
Arrangements should now be in place for PIP telephone assessments to be recorded, where the claimant asks in advance (though we would still advise that you consider making your own covert recording as well, see our members PIP guide to claims and reviews for more on this)
But in a written parliamentary answer Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people, admitted that it is still up to claimants to take responsibility for recording their own PIP face-to-face assessment:
“We are currently working with providers to deliver an audio recording service for face to face assessments, which resumed on 17 May 2021, that removes the requirement for the claimant to provide the equipment and we aim to complete this as soon as practically possible.”
As if this is not bad enough, the list of recording equipment which is not acceptable to the DWP grows ever longer, as the minister made clear:
“Certain devices that are capable of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved. Non-approved devices include (but are not limited to) PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players, smart watches, and devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily checked during the assessment. Acceptable formats for such recordings are restricted to CD and audio cassette only.”
Tomlinson gave no indication of how much longer it will take before a PIP face-to-face assessment recording system is up and running.
Considering that PIP was introduced eight years ago and there have been calls for recordings to be made available from the outset, that is nothing short of shameful.