Capita has more than doubled the amount it is willing to pay health professionals to carry out PIP assessments as the company struggles to to deal with the massive backlog in PIP medicals. The company is now boasting of the ‘Potential to earn significant sums as a result of our new incentive scheme’ which will see assessors able to earn £900 a day.{jcomments on}

Back in February we highlighted a Capita advert for PIP assessors at what we regarded as bargain basement rates of £40 per report, rising to £60 if the report was a grade A or B.

Now, however, Capita is adverting the same posts, but paid at a rate of £150 per report, provided the assessor carries out at least 21 assessments.

Initially, assessors will be paid £60 per report. But once they are ‘approved’ the payment per report increases rapidly the more assessments they carry out.

According to Capita:

Approved' is defined as achieving 4 consecutive Grade A and B reports following training.’

However, the incentive scheme does not mention any requirement that reports have to be grade A or B in order to attract the £150 payment, once approval has been gained.

Capita is also offering the ‘Opportunity to undertake up to 6 assessments a day for an extended period’, giving the potential to earn a staggering £900 a day. At least we can’t accuse them of being bargain basement payment rates anymore.

However, one major concern is that in evidence given to the Commons Work and Pensions committee, the DWP, Atos and Capita all claimed that the average time taken to carry out and write up a PIP assessment was two hours. This was the excuse for the huge backlog of medicals.

Given that almost all Capita medicals are home visits, completing 6 assessments a day means working 12 hours plus travel time within a 20 mile radius.

How many claimants would want to be the last visit of the day for nurses and occupational therapists working those sort of hours in order to take advantage of Capita’s incentive scheme?

There is a further concern. Capita say that:

‘The Incentive period will be reviewed in November 2014.’

At that point Capita will be hoping that most of the backlog has been cleared, given that Iain Duncan Smith has claimed that the problems with PIP assessments will all have been sorted out by the Autumn.

So, for assessors looking to make a pile of cash, the pressure is on to carry out as many assessments as possible between now and November, when the pay rates may plummet again.

Which, to some, may sound like a huge incentive to cut corners and make huge assumptions about claimant’s conditions and their effects in order to cram in as many medicals as possible in the next six months.

Here at Benefits and Work, we'd also like to know if Capita and Atos have been given another large lump of taxpayer's cash to pay these sort of rates.  But we also know that any attempt to discover the truth will be met with a refusal to reveal the truth on the grounds of 'commercial confidentiality'.


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