From Disability News Service


The healthcare professionals who carry out disability benefit assessments on behalf of the government should be held accountable for failing to report what they are told accurately, MPs have been told.

Members of the Commons work and pensions select committee were told repeatedly this week that assessors working for the outsourcing giants Atos, Capita and Maximus were producing reports that did not reflect what they had been told by the disabled people they were assessing.

They were hearing evidence from four welfare rights advisers as part of their inquiry into the assessment processes for personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA).


Disability News Service (DNS) has been carrying out a year-long investigation into claims of dishonesty at the heart of the PIP assessment system, and revealed last month that complaints about the process rose by nearly 900 per cent last year.

But Atos and Capita – which carry out PIP assessments – and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have repeatedly insisted that there is no dishonesty in the system.


David Bryceland, from Oxfordshire Mind, told the committee yesterday that he and his colleagues saw “many inaccuracies”, including major factual errors such as someone who lived in a ground-floor, one-bedroom flat being described in an assessment report as living in a three-bedroomed house.


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