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7000 HEALTH ASSESSMENTS TAMPERED WITH OR BINNED

FULL STORY HERE.

The complete figures of 6,850 assessment reports tampered with in the space of two years by auditors who weren’t even present for the assessment is truly shocking. There must be an immediate and independent review into this staggering practice.

This blindfolded decision making undermines the whole process and will impact heavily on peoples’ lives. From outsourcing to private companies chasing targets to DWP auditors themselves, the whole system is rigged against people with disabilities trying to access vital support.

I had to chase the DWP to provide the actual numbers despite the purpose of my question being clear. This may be yet another attempt by the DWP to prevent information about the impact of their policies getting out.

The UK Government must come clean on its processes and record. They must collect figures on whether the required amendments are resulting in increases or deductions in peoples’ PIP entitlement so we can see the true effect audits are having.

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DWP AUDITS CONTINUE

FULL STORY: ‘Fury as ‘secret’ DWP checks see benefits claims marked down’

It is concerning that thousands of health reports are being tampered with each year by people who weren’t even present for the assessment. There must be a complete halt to audits and an inquiry into the UK Government’s rigged health assessments.

DWP auditors, who aren’t present during assessments, should not be able to mandate changes which could bear heavily on peoples’ lives. Changes should not be made by so called ‘health professionals’ who didn’t even carry out the original assessment. This is a clear injustice that must be corrected.

People have spoken to me about how they feel they are degraded in their assessments. For the whole process to be a sham and for the assessment to be undermined by auditors is infuriating.

Not happy with outsourcing health assessments to private companies who are pressured to chase targets, the UK Government is interfering to get the results they want so they can deprive yet more people with disabilities of the vital support they need to live full lives.

The Tories’ austerity agenda and punitive welfare regime has allowed the wealthiest to keep more money in their pockets while cheating society’s most vulnerable of even the most basic dignities.

This is in stark contrast to the work of the Scottish Government who is building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.

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SNP WILL BRING DOWN TORIES TO RAISE INCOMES

The SNP will lock the Tories out raise incomes across Scotland says the SNP candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw, Marion Fellows, who is seeking re-election on the 12th of December.

Mrs Fellows says SNP MPs will use their votes to lock the Tories out of government and will never form a deal with them – bringing an end to austerity.

SNP MPs will vote for a minimum wage equal to the Living Wage of £9.30 an hour and end austerity to invest in well paid, high skilled jobs.

SNP MPs will halt roll-out of Universal Credit and the five week waiting time for payments will be ended.

Incomes will be raised for families and the disabled with the scrapping of the draconian two-child cap and ‘rape clause’ on tax credits and an end to “rigged” disability assessment.

SNP MPs will seek dignity for the elderly opposing an increase to the age of retirement, a reversal of cuts to Pension credits, and justice for the WASPI women denied their pension rights.

The SNP Scottish Government has already delivered its Carer’s Allowance Supplement giving £452.40 to carers per year. Its new Scottish Child Payment will lift 30,000 Scottish children out of poverty by 2023.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Tory austerity has attacked peoples’ incomes in Motherwell, Wishaw, Bellshill – and across Scotland forcing families in and out of work to foodbanks. The SNP will lock the Tories out of power, bringing an end to austerity so we can invest in creating well paid jobs, and raise incomes and employment.

“With our new social security system, the SNP hasn’t just been promising change – we’re delivering it. But we can do so much more.

“We will ensure work pays with a new Living Wage of £9.30. For the most vulnerable – especially children, the disabled and the elderly – we will ensure they get the support they need by ending the disgraceful and punishing policies of the Tory welfare regime.

“We must futureproof our economy and incomes by ensuring Scotland remains in the EU single market. Thousands of jobs are on the line. We cannot allow Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn to drag us from the EU against our will.”

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TORY WELFARE REGIME DENYING SUPPORT

‘Disabled mum has benefits axed by DWP after ‘humiliating’ fit-for-work tests’

Sadly, this is too common an experience for our family, friends and neighbours who are being punished for having a disability.

Undoubtedly, the use of target-chasing private companies, like Atos and Capita, who carry out health assessments is causing people in need to suffer. By depriving them of the support they need and deserve, they are profiting from their pain.

I have met with Ministers and assessment staff to represent constituents’ issues with the system and to call for the system to be radically overhauled.

The Scottish Government is building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect. This will include PIP. It will support people. Not push them down to satisfy tabloid headlines which victimises the most vulnerable people in society.

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WATCH: DWP AUDITS – TORY TAMPERING OF HEALTH ASSESSMENT REPORTS

https://www.facebook.com/marionfellows/videos/2114245181963425/

Due to an admin blunder, the Tories’ tampering of health assessment reports has been exposed and now Ministers are providing non-answers so they can continue to cheat some of society’s most vulnerable people out of support. There must be an immediate and independent review.

Regardless, previous answers and a written admission from IAS have confirmed that audits are being utilised by the UK government to force sweeping changes to reports. Despite their slippy language, the Tories cannot disguise the role they are playing in blocking access to PIP.

Assessment providers are not innocent either. They are complicit in a rigged system. The outsourcing of health assessments to so called health professionals is putting them under pressure to chase targets.

Given that a report could be amended by two people who weren’t even present during the health assessment, it’s evident that the aim isn’t to accurately assess people, but to carry out a charade and chase results which bear heavily on peoples’ lives.

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MINISTER REFUSES TO CONFIRM DISABILITY REPORT TAMPERING

BUT PREVIOUS ANSWERS SHOW DWP AUDITORS ARE FORCING “REQUIRED”, SWEEPING CHANGES TO HEALTH ASSESSMENT REPORTS

Today in Parliament, Justin Tomlinson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Work and Pensions, refused to confirm that DWP auditors were mandating sweeping, required changes to the health assessment reports for people claiming Personal Independence Payments when asked by SNP MP Marion Fellows despite build-up of evidence.

DWP audits came under scrutiny last year after Mrs Fellows raised the case of her constituent – who suffers from MS – when he was accidentally sent both the original and the audited report of his face-to-face health assessment carried out by Independent Assessment Services.

Every section of the original report where her constituent scored points was reduced to zero by the auditor. Had her constituent’s report not been audited, he would have been entitled to the standard rate of the daily living component of PIP worth £57.30 per week. He is now awaiting a date for Tribunal.

Speaking in Parliament, Mrs Fellows said: “The former Disability Minister said that DWP Auditors can grade health assessment reports as “amendment required” and the “DWP is not prescriptive on how changes should be made” to these reports. Will the Minister confirm that while changes are not “prescriptive”, that auditors – who aren’t present during assessments – can mandate required, sweeping changes that can drastically affect a person’s claim for PIP?”

The Minister responded “We are always reviewing that process and we work very closely with stakeholders with their wealth of experience to make sure we continue to deliver improvements.”

A letter from Atos previously confirmed that auditors have the ability to “overrule” the findings of health professionals and that auditors had “instructed for changes to be made which ultimately affected the scoring”.

A Minister previously confirmed that two people who didn’t witness a health assessment could amend reports, stating: “where possible, this activity should be taken by the Health Professional who carried out the original assessment”.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Due to an admin blunder, the Tories’ tampering of health assessment reports has been exposed and now Ministers are providing non-answers so they can continue to cheat some of society’s most vulnerable people out of support. There must be an immediate and independent review.

“Regardless, previous answers and a written admission from IAS have confirmed that audits are being utilised by the UK government to force sweeping changes to reports. Despite their slippy language, the Tories cannot disguise the role they are playing in blocking access to PIP.

“Assessment providers are not innocent either. They are complicit in a rigged system. The outsourcing of health assessments to so called health professionals is putting them under pressure to chase targets.

“Given that a report could be amended by two people who weren’t even present during the health assessment, it’s evident that the aim isn’t to accurately assess people, but to carry out a charade and chase results which bear heavily on peoples’ lives.”