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UK: Disability benefits (ESA and PIP) - news and updates 2021 onwards

Discussion in 'Work, Finances and Disability Insurance' started by Kitty, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    2,596
    Location:
    UK
    I found out by accident some time ago that my award has been extended. I needed an up-to-date award letter to renew my Blue Badge, and when they sent it I noticed that the end date was nine months later than it had been. Today I actually got a notification of it.

    It's happened because they transferred a lot of staff to UC due to Covid, which ate into the staff time they'd normally use for reviews. I suspect that many others will find theirs has been extended too – at least if they've got a good while left before they need to reapply (they normally start this process a year before the end date). My previous end date was 2023, and it's now 2024.

    Fingers crossed that others do get a bit of a break, for once!
     
  2. JoanneS

    JoanneS Established Member (Voting Rights)

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    71
    My award was due to end July this year. I received notification of an extension until April 2022. However, I have heard anecdotally that some have received an extension then shortly after received renewal forms.
     
  3. Agapanthus

    Agapanthus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    207
    Yes, as Joanne above says, this is true as my son received his renewal forms for PIP and then shortly after received an extension of his award. I had it explained to me (I give him a lot of support with his benefits applications), that it is done because if the renewal forms are delayed then there it makes it easier for the DWP to manage the process, as apparently if the time runs out then the PIP will just come to an end!
     
  4. Joan Crawford

    Joan Crawford Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    342
    Location:
    Warton, Carnforth, Lancs, UK
    Good to hear. PIP and renewal process causes a lot of unnecessary strain for many of my patients. I've heard quite a few talking recently about receiving extensions
     
  5. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    UK London
    I've been wondering, since Covid-19 must largely have put a stop to in-person assessments, and in particular tribunals, whether pwME have had better luck with PIP applications and the like since more paper-based assessments and phone assessments have been allowed?
     
  6. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Audio recording option set to be introduced for all PIP assessments, says DWP Feb 2021

    full article (audio version also available)
    https://www.disabilitynewsservice.c...-introduced-for-all-pip-assessments-says-dwp/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2021
    JohnM, yME, Kitty and 12 others like this.
  7. MEMarge

    MEMarge Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This is such good news.
     
    Kitty, lunarainbows, Wits_End and 5 others like this.
  8. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Over the last several years I am several several thousands of pounds worse off because I trusted an ATOS assessor to assess me fairly, and importantly not to make unfounded assumptions, know what she was doing, and to not tell barefaced lies - which I couldn't dispute as I had no evidence to do so, only my word, which apparently wasn't even worth considering if it was at variance from the pack of lies the assessor had submitted.

    So, yes, good news, just have to see what happens in practice.
     
    MEMarge, yME, Kitty and 10 others like this.
  9. Trish

    Trish Moderator Staff Member

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    This concerns me. I didn't know until it was too late that an assessor might tell lied about me and twist what I said. It should be mandatory that all assessments are recorded.
     
    MEMarge, yME, Kitty and 10 others like this.
  10. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

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    Location:
    UK West Midlands
    Good point about what happens in practice @Wonko i asked in advance for my ESA assessment in 2018 to be recorded but when I arrived for the appointment the equipment didn’t work and they didn’t have a spare.....
     
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  11. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I suspect that happens a lot. Certainly a lot of people seem to say it's happened to them.

    As a system this is wide open to abuse. If some assessors are prepared to misrepresent or lie about claimants then what's to stop those same assessors lying by claiming the equipment isn't working?

    If I'm not mistaken the dual recording systems are similar to those used by the police. They don't seem to have the same degree of difficulty with faulty recording equipment though, do they?

    This messing about with vulnerable people needs to stop. It should be fairly simple it keep a log of recording devices.

    Stick an ID sticker on it that linked to a record of the make, model and serial number & location of device. A history of cleaning, maintenance & repair and who carried the work out should be recorded. Along with reports of equipment failure, what actual fault was found, who reported it, what was done to fix it and how long it took to get it fixed. Exactly like Atos, Capita and the DWP itself have probably already done for decades with the own IT kit.

    I'd be very surprised if that wasn't already being done because maintenance & repair company have service level agreements that often require this type of logging so they can prove they have operated within their agreed contract. This is standard practise in offices throughout the land and has been for decades.
     
    yME, Kitty, Wits_End and 7 others like this.
  12. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    it is about time they where dragged into this century really tape cassettes and disc . when phones and other digital devices can make multiple files and share them via email .
     
    Hutan, Invisible Woman, Kitty and 3 others like this.
  13. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'd prefer they were dragged into another century than this one myself.

    The 12th century would probably be good, they should fit right in.
     
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  14. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Location:
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    It's about "£$%$"£^"£& time.

    We got the ESA one recorded, but of course not PIP - that wasn't allowed. So we had no evidence to prove what a selective work of fiction the "healthcare professional"'s report was. There were comments in there which totally misrepresented my caree's walking ability - and we were never able to correct them to an accurate version even with an appeal. It's now too late for change as she's over pensionable age, which means her low-rate mobility payment can never be improved on. The whole system stinks.
     
    JemPD, MEMarge, alktipping and 6 others like this.
  15. Sean

    Sean Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Absolutely. All medico-legal assessments, in all circumstances.

    The threat of being caught out is the only way to keep assessors even vaguely honest.
     
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  16. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Even the small garage that MoTs my car records all the phone calls. It really, really isn't difficult.

    I can see why they would argue that it needs to be done by the contractor so there can be no claim that recordings have been edited, but it's as easy to test the recording levels on a mobile phone as it is on a dual tape machine.

    There are also simple strategies to get around any issues about editing, such as having a clock ticking at a low but audible level, which gives – for instance – a double tick every half minute and a triple one every minute. Any theatre sound engineer on the planet could create such a track quickly and cheaply, and streaming or playing it during an assessment would enable claimants to use their own recording devices if the assessor's developed one of the mysterious faults that seem so ubiquitous. It might not be acceptable for interviewing murder suspects, but it's perfectly adequate for benefit claimants.
     
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  17. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Only if you consider claiming benefits to be a less serious crime than murder.
     
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  18. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Absolutely & with personal consequences for them if they lie or misrepresent plus consequences for their employer too.

    A claimant caught lying will face the consequences so why shouldn't there be consequences for an assessor?
     
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  19. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's the whole problem with outsourcing, isn't it. Companies receive financial incentives to do as many assessments as possible, and are pressured to engineer negative outcomes for as many claimants as possible. So if an assessor lies and gets away with it, they're more likely to be promoted for their success than censured as a liar.
     
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  20. Invisible Woman

    Invisible Woman Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Yes, but only outsourcing in certain sectors it would seem.

    I have worked for an outsourcing company in a completely unrelated field. Your performance as an employee is closely monitored, even as someone who had a very technical role your ability to build a rapport and a relationship of trust with a client was extremely important.

    Lying to or about a client would have consequences, it would certainly go on your record in appraisals and might even trigger disciplinary action.

    Occasionally, I have been asked to do something at work which wouldn't be legal. However, if I got found out I'd probably get fired and have destroyed my own career plus there could be implications for my employer.

    You were assessed by your employer who discussed your performance with your clients. Very high levels of personal accountability.

    It can be done if there is the will to do it. If the primary focus is on doing the job right.
     
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