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The DWP are to introduce a major change to the assessment system for PIP and the work capability assessment for ESA and UC with just one company carrying out both assessments for any given claimant from August 2023.

Contracts for all assessment providers have been extended for two years to August 2023, after which the change to a single assessment provider in each of an undisclosed number of geographic regions will be introduced.

This means that the same company will have to have expertise in both PIP assessments and the WCA and will be able to use some of the evidence from one type of assessment when carrying out the other for the same claimant.

At present, all WCA’s a re carried out by Maximus.

PIP assessments are carried out by IAS (formerly Atos) and Capita.

Many readers will remember that Atos abandoned its WCA contract in 2014 after suffering years of increasingly negative publicity. The contract went to Maximus instead.

Atos may well be unhappy at the thought of returning to carrying out WCAs, but it seems to have little choice if it is to have any hope of holding on to its lucrative PIP contracts.

Meanwhile Maximus will have to develop expertise in PIP assessments and Capita will have to learn how to carry out WCA’s if they wish to stay in the market.

Other companies may also try to get a foothold.

It’s too early to say what the effect of all this will be on claimants.

On the positive side, the use of the same company is intended to lead to assessments being less onerous because, for example, a specialist report submitted for a PIP assessment can also then be used for a WCA.

But the main concern is likely to be that insufficient and misleading evidence gathered for, say, a PIP assessment will then be used as part of the evidence for a WCA, even if the PIP decision is subsequently overturned on appeal.

In addition, whilst the DWP say that there are no plans for a single assessment for both PIP and the WCA, a real fear is that evidence about say mobility from one assessment will be taken into account for the other, even though the criteria are quite different. The attraction of doing this for assessment providers is that assessments would be shorter and greater profits could be made.

The changes will not apply to Scotland, where PIP assessments will be carried out in-house by Social Security Scotland and discussions are ongoing about changes to the system in Northern Ireland.

Comments  

+1 #7 mermaid 2021-09-15 10:55
I am appalled at this latest change. I have just spent a year supporting my son who has severe mental illness with his PIP renewal. He had been on Enhanced PIP for 5 years (DLA previously), and yet the IAS assessor gave him NIL points. The DWP gave him 6, thus reducing his income by over half as he needs at least 2 more to even get the Standard award. No mobility award even though I believe he qualifies for that also.

His mental health has plummeted while fighting this ridiculous decision, given all the evidence sent of his continuing ill health. Not one thing that he said during his phone assessment was believed it seems. According to their paperwork none of the evidence we sent was examined. He talked of a recent suicide attempt during his phone assessment also, (I didn't know of this until he told the assessor), and afterwards I discovered that there had been 2 more in recent months. It seems that even suicide attempts are not taken seriously by IAS assessors as evidence of poor mental health.

So far, it's been 11 weeks to wait for the result of his Mandatory Reconsideration . I have issued complaints against the Assessor, and the Health Trust during this time (the IAS bit of evidence was gathered from a psychiatrist who had never met my son via a phone appointment, and gave a very misleading report to IAS indicating that he was much fitter than he really was).

Given this proposed change the Assessor and the DWP might have made him 'fit for work' - a scary thought given that he can barely leave his flat.
#6 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-11 16:26
Quoting ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar:
This doesn't bode well for conflicting assessments, just another way to f**k claimants in one foul swoop?

Many will suffer under this I'm sure of that...



I guess all of us millions of people who are ill - disable, but mot of our lives we have worked, paid into our British society's koffers, only to be f***ed over by the Tories every day. Yet Tories squander countless billions of our tax monies elsewhere. Trouble is who do you vote for @ the next GE? Torie no ! labour also no because they're a waste of time, their last GE manifesto was a total load of b***oxs. Liberal, well dare i say more. So where's that leave us?
#5 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-11 16:20
Quoting Susie:
This just evidences how the gov't prioritise profits for private contractors ahead of the dignity, humanity and struggling of disabled people.

When the pandemic catapulted more claimants to UC the £20 uplift was introduced because this dreadful gov't KNEW UC £86:a week is not enough to live on! People were genuinely shocked at the low levels of benefits; the last coalition's austerity message of claimants being "skivrrs" did a lot of damage. Furthermore, this gov't said the ectra £20 per week was fair because new claimants were on UC through "no fault of their own". This is true but what about those of us who were already claiming - is it our fault we are disabled? Makes me angry.

If more people had to attend an assessment via a WCA or a PIP2, there would be an outcry at the disgusting and degrading treatment of sick and disabled human beings!!

Profits before people makes me so very angry.




Well and truly said. When are us legacy benefit claimants going to get the 20 quid a week for the last year or more uplift the same as UC ? Richest 6th country on this planet an the government still cause mass austerity for ill disabled people. And no one cares about us.
+1 #4 naheegan 2021-09-10 22:30
Given the Tories' record of making a misery of disabled claimants lives, I can't see that this doesn't look like more poverty and strife ahead. With no ECHR to stand up for us, it seems that we are fair game. Bless this site and those who run it for all the help, advice and information we can find here.
+2 #3 Susie 2021-09-09 22:30
This just evidences how the gov't prioritise profits for private contractors ahead of the dignity, humanity and struggling of disabled people.

When the pandemic catapulted more claimants to UC the £20 uplift was introduced because this dreadful gov't KNEW UC £86:a week is not enough to live on! People were genuinely shocked at the low levels of benefits; the last coalition's austerity message of claimants being "skivrrs" did a lot of damage. Furthermore, this gov't said the ectra £20 per week was fair because new claimants were on UC through "no fault of their own". This is true but what about those of us who were already claiming - is it our fault we are disabled? Makes me angry.

If more people had to attend an assessment via a WCA or a PIP2, there would be an outcry at the disgusting and degrading treatment of sick and disabled human beings!!

Profits before people makes me so very angry.
+2 #2 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-09-09 16:37
You just couldn't make this goverment f*****g up!

Tories at their finest once again. It's not for the benefit of the claimant all, it's just to stich the claimants up, hence getting either low rate or no benefits at all.

(Contracts for all assessment providers have been extended for two years to August 2023) ... another waste of hundreds of millions of pounds on bent dodgy atos & co.

I thought this was all going to be done inhouse at the dwp not out sourced to these parasite contractors, where disabled people do not count, but assessors bonuses do.


Well done tories. people you get who you vote for.
+2 #1 ThisGovernmentsGoneToFar 2021-09-09 15:20
This doesn't bode well for conflicting assessments, just another way to f**k claimants in one foul swoop?

Many will suffer under this I'm sure of that...

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