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Friday, April 06, 2018

The continuing saga of failing assessments for Personal Independence Payments

Those of us who have been involved in helping people with appeals for PiP and ESA are well aware of the flaws in the process, particularly around the assessments. It is not surprising therefore to read in The Mirror that almost a third of assessments for the PIP disability benefit are not fully up to scratch.

The paper says that Atos and Capita have a target for 3% or fewer of their reports to be ranked “unacceptable” and currently it is around 5%:

But figures handed to MPs show thousands more “acceptable” reports still had to be amended or prompted staff feedback.

Atos, for example, said 5% of its reports were "unacceptable" between March and December 2017. But a further 10% were "acceptable with amendments", and 15% were “acceptable with feedback" – meaning there was "learning required" for the assessor.

That left just 70% of Atos reports that were graded acceptable without any changes or feedback.

In the same period, Capita said just 6% of its reports were unacceptable. But a further 15% were acceptable with amendments and 13% had learning required.

That meant 66% of Capita reports were graded acceptable without any amendments or feedback.

An Atos spokesman stressed that “acceptable with amendments” still meant a report was acceptable.

However, these figures are spun it is clear that neither Atos or Capita are meeting their targets. The wider question though has to be what is meant by 'acceptable' in the first place. The volume of successful appeals indicate a much wider problem that needs to be addressed.
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