DWP figures provide fresh evidence to explain PIP claim rejections
From Disability News Service:
New figures show that Department for Work and Pensions civil servants are questioning only a tiny proportion of the benefit assessment reports written by discredited government contractors Atos and Capita.
Campaigners have been trying for months to secure evidence that would explain why such a high proportion of personal independence payment claims that are taken to appeal are successful.
Figures from social security tribunals show the proportion of claimants who won their PIP appeals rose by seven percentage points in a year, from 64 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2016-17 to 71 per cent in the same period of 2017-18.
The new figures, secured by Disability News Service through a freedom of information request, may help to explain why so many appeals are successful ...
None of this surprises me. My current PIP appeal success rate is somewhat higher than this for this year alone. Don’t think that I am a fabulous tribunal rep-just that the standard of assessments are so poor. This is a waste of time and money, when I have clients with zero points walking out with Enhanced awards.
One was so dreadful ( a client who had been sectioned under MH), that I actually had a DWP presenting Officer apologising to me at the Tribunal! And another judge baraging a PO asking why this case was before him! Another, I didn’t even go into the tribunal room (client was there), awarded on papers just before I went in (tons of medical evidence and a submission referring to he medical evidence in the papers)
In my area , the problem is mainly with one assessment centre, so I contacted ATOS, and got permission from my clients to send in complaint letters with each and every one. I have 15 to do!
I will update you on the outcome.
I have been doing appeals for 18 months now and I’ve never lost an appeal tribunal - which could sound impressive except that I honestly very rarely have anything to do with it when we’re there. 99% of the time the tribunals I win are decided simply based on the client’s own descriptions of their limitations in response to the exact same questions that the assessors would ask. I don’t even need to speak at all because it’s so obvious that the decision is wrong.
Recently a client of mine who’s obese with Emphysema, inter alia attended a PIP assessment at the Anfield Business Centre, Liverpool. Formerly, it was a DWP Office. Not surprisingly he lost PIP entirely! From one end to the other end of the building is no more than 50 metres. Often HCPs refer to claimants walking up to 40 metres from waiting room to assessment room there. Obviously, this distance and layout is designed to disadvantage clients.
The HCP alleged the claimant was of average build and observed to walk 50 metres from the waiting room to assessment room with a stiff gait stopping once for a minute because of breathlessness. The waiting room is at least 10 metres short of the length of the building. Therefore, it’s impossible to observe a claimant walking 50 metres from one room to the other. Notwithstanding the HCP’s inaccurate note, in my opinion, the observations alone ought to have led to Enhanced Mobility, not surprisingly it didn’t even attract Standard Mobility! This HCP as a nurse is mandated to do no harm. Evidently, ATOS manages the Nursing and Midwifery Council so an official complaint might not go anywhere. . My question is, “Are reports being amended by the Independendent Assessment Services formerly ATOS because the recommendations of the HCPS are not supported by their reports one last point “Independent”, really!!!.