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UK: Work and Pensions Committee inquiry: Health assessments for benefits, 2021

Discussion in 'General disability topics and advocacy' started by Andy, Nov 19, 2021.

  1. Andy

    Andy Committee Member

    Hampshire, UK
    From a Chronic Illness Inclusion email;

    Focus groups on disability benefit assessments

    Chronic Illness Inclusion wants to hear your experiences of both the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) AND Personal Independence Payments (PIP) assessments. We want your ideas for how to make the ‘claim journey’ for both benefits easier and fairer for disabled people with energy-limiting conditions. We are conducting online focus groups on behalf of the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, a company contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to handle claims and carry out assessments. This research will help them plan improvements for the future.

    These focus groups are about improving the experience of claiming disability benefits and undergoing assessments. They are not about improvements to government policy, such as the level of benefits, the activities or 'descriptors' used in assessments, or benefit rules like sanctions.

    The focus groups will be held on the 6th December and 8th December via Zoom.

    Registration for the focus groups is open until 5pm on Friday 26th November. Shopping vouchers will be offered to participants as a Thank You. We are looking for people who have undergone WCA and PIP in the last four years. To find out more click here.


    Work and Pensions Committee inquiry: Health assessments for benefits

    CII has been busy making representations to both DWP and the Work and Pensions Committee on behalf of people with ELCI on broader policy issues.

    We responded to the Green Paper on Health and Disability and the WP Committee's inquiry into disability assessments. In our responses we made recommendations for redesigning PIP and WCA so they better reflect the lived experience of energy limiting conditions and their impact on work and daily living.

    The Work and Pensions Committee would also like to hear from you directly if you have had an assessment to claim PIP, and/or a Work Capability Assessment to claim ESA or as part of a Universal Credit claim. You can tell them your experiences through a survey.

    The Committee is focusing on how the Department for Work and Pensions can improve the application and assessment processes for these benefits.

    This includes:

    • How DWP could improve the quality of its assessments;
    • Lessons from the pandemic, including whether changes DWP made to the assessment processes then should continue;
    • How DWP could make applying for benefits more straightforward for claimants
    The inquiry closes on 17th December 2021.
  2. Wonko

    Wonko Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    One of the major problems is about the descriptors, and the scoring system - in that they bare no relationship to reality IMO, so do not result in a 'fair' assessment when applied to me (and probably lots of other people, if not all other people that could possibly exist, ever).

    This is deliberate, as is shown by the increasing focus on the approach when successful awards are higher than an arbitrary number chosen by 'someone', in order to reduce award amounts and success.

    All this is just whitewashing if the fundamental approach, and the despicable (IMO) views that allowed it to be created, aren't changed.

    Which is outside the scope of this thing.
    Kitty, Wits_End, alktipping and 4 others like this.
  3. Wits_End

    Wits_End Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    UK London
    Wow. A survey which actually allows you to click through the various pages before you answer anything!
  4. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
  5. Kitty

    Kitty Senior Member (Voting Rights)

  6. Simbindi

    Simbindi Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Somerset, England
    From what I have read about the DWP consultations, they just machine read the qualitative responses to pick out key words and phrases, so it's not worth the energy to compose articulate responses in text boxes to any of their surveys.

    I thought the best way around this is to write to your MP so they are aware of the difficulties ahead of any votes on changes to legislation.

    Regarding the focus groups, I suspect it's just around whether they should be keeping telephone and video assessments etc.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
    Sean, alktipping, Kitty and 3 others like this.
  7. Sly Saint

    Sly Saint Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    i wonder if anyone else use the word 'joke' when talking about mandatory reconsiderations?
    shame they don't use emojis.
    Peter Trewhitt, Trish and MEMarge like this.
  8. Haveyoutriedyoga

    Haveyoutriedyoga Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Merged thread

    (Copied the text from a Facebook post by the ME Association)

    Survey: Health assessments for benefits - Closing date 19.05.22

    The Work and Pensions Committee has extended the deadline for submitting evidence to their inquiry on health assessments for benefits until 19th May 2022.

    This inquiry is looking at the assessment for benefits such as ESA, UC and PIP and considering issues with the process from claimants perspectives. It is made up of a cross-party panel of MPs who scrutinise the work of the DWP.

    They would particularly like to hear evidence from claimants regarding experiences of very long waits for assessment; 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 and concerns about how accessible the assessment processes are for disabled people.

    The committee state “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.”

    More information here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1468/health-assessments-for-benefits/

    Link to survey here: tinyurl.com/ydswd2kj
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2022

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