The Commons work and pensions committee has put an anonymous survey online that they want claimants to complete, telling them about your experiences of PIP assessments and the WCA and how the system could be improved. If claimants don’t complete the survey, it will let the DWP and assessment providers off the hook.
We know the DWP hates claimants having their say. They proved that by breaking the rules to avoid publishing evidence given by 120 disabled claimants about how they are treated by the DWP.
So, please consider taking part in this survey and putting some genuine, accurate evidence before a committee that has the power to question the people at the very top of the DWP, Capita, Atos and Maximus.
Last month we told readers about the committee’s enquiry into the assessment system and explained how you could take part, by emailing your evidence
A number of people contacted us and explained their concerns about the enquiry as it stood, because there was no guarantee of anonymity and they feared they might make themselves a target for the DWP or for assessment providers.
We wrote to the committee on 18 October, passing on your concerns.
We received no response to our email.
However, the committee have now published an online survey for claimants to complete anonymously and extended the deadline for responding to the enquiry from 5 November to mid-February, 2022.
The committee says:
“We will use your responses in our Health assessments for benefits inquiry. We might publish some or all of your responses on our website or social media, or read them out when we're asking questions in a public Committee meeting or in the House of Commons. We won't ask for your name or publish any details that could identify you.”
Unlike the DWP, who consult simply to get the answers they want and refuse to publish anything that doesn’t go their way, the committee is already clearly aware of many of the issues claimants face.
They say that worries about the system that they have been told about include:
- very long waits for assessments
- concerns over the quality of reports and the expertise of assessors
- how effectively the Department uses expert additional evidence in coming to a decision;
- stresses placed on claimants as a result of the application and assessment processes;
- concerns about how accessible the assessment processes are for disabled people.
You can share your experiences and ideas by completing the anonymous survey here.
And please tell other claimants about the survey, the more people who complete it, the clearer it will be what needs to change.