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You can’t merge two badly constructed assessment processes

05 March 2019

DR UK comments on Amber Rudd’s proposals for disability benefits assessments.

Commenting on the statement from Amber Rudd about the changes to disability benefits assessments, Ken Butler, benefits policy advisor at Disability Rights UK said:

‘We welcome a more common-sense approach to assessments, including a commitment to not reassessing people who are over pension age.

‘But there are some fundamental problems which still need to be addressed. Assessments for both Employment Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payment are flawed and poorly administered. The current figures for successful appeals on both benefits make that quite clear.

‘You can’t merge two badly constructed processes and expect to come up with one fit-for-purpose approach.’

‘Without a wholesale change of design to the assessment process, huge numbers of disabled people will continue to be denied benefits they are entitled to – that’s the change we need.

‘In the meantime, our advice to claimants remains the same. If you are turned down for a benefit claim, seek support from benefits experts and use the independent appeals process.’

Philip Connolly, Disability Rights UK policy manager said:

'Amber Rudd acknowledged how many disabled people experience her department when she said that for some it was akin to being on trial but her announcements fell short of the legitimate expectations of disabled people for the wholesale suspension of sanctions or the need for evidence based descriptors in the Work Capability Assessment.

'The speech was a welcome shift of tone but not yet the step change we want and hope for from DWP.'