Benefits outrage as shocking mistakes in medical assessment are revealed to MPs

 

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One medical report said a woman walked her dog daily despite the fact she didn’t own a pet and had trouble walking. A benefit claimant was said to walk her dog daily in a medical assessment report, despite not owning one and being barely able to walk, according to evidence submitted to MPs.

The shocking story was one of almost 4000 submissions received by the Work and Pensions Select Committee after they called for evidence on the assessments for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance. Stories from claimants showed relevant information was often omitted and fundamental errors were made in the medical assessment reports.

One claimant, Nikki, said: “Apparently I walk my dog daily, which was baffling because I can barely walk and I do not have a dog.”

Another, Mary, said her assessor wrote that she “arose from the chair without any difficulty”. Mary added: “I was in bed the whole time (she let herself in) and I only have the one chair in the room and she was sitting in it.

“She said that I had no difficulty reading with my glasses yet I do not wear glasses to read.”

Katherine, another claimant, said: “I was attacked with a deadly weapon only a short time before my assessment. The man threatened my life, on a walk with my dog.

“So the assessor wrote that I like to talk to people on my walk.”

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Other people told the committee the results of physical examinations which had not taken place were included in their assessment report.

Claimants also reported difficulty applying, with one saying the PIP form took 20 hours to complete.

She said: “I had to complete it for my husband. The form is belittling, degrading, impossibly lengthy, far too detailed and complicated. It focuses on the negatives only. Many people will take one look at the form and decide not to apply.”

The recently-appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is the reviled Esther McVey.

The Committee said it was “unsurprising that the vast majority of submissions we received were critical of the assessment process” as people tend only to make representations when they have had a poor experience.

source


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