Tackling problems with benefits provided by the Department of Work and Pensions
Problems with disability benefits
More than a third of our clients have disabilities or long-term health conditions and since 2013 we have produced several reports, the last in April 2016, highlighting the serious problems that our sick and disabled clients have in claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP). In November 2016 the Government invited comments on far-reaching proposals in a Green Paper to improve employment support for disabled people and people with long-term health conditions including assessment for ESA and PIP. In our response to the Green Paper, we took the opportunity to suggest radical changes to the assessment of these benefits to streamline and simplify the whole process and make it more customer-friendly.
Our proposals were not accepted, but a year later we submitted them again in our evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee’s enquiry into claiming procedures for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Then in January 2018 we provided evidence from our clients’ experience of ESA and PIP reassessments to support an initiative by Citizen Research and Campaign teams across London to ask London MPs to press the DWP to stop reassessing ESA and PIP recipients who have long-term health conditions that show no sign of improvement.
Problems with the delivery of other benefits
In 2017 we assembled a report listing the key problems with the administration of DWP benefits, based on the experience of our clients, of a wide range of problems with the delivery of all DWP benefits for discussion with Jobcentre Plus’ most senior local management As a result of this discussion we have developed closer collaboration with the local Partnership Manager of Jobcentre Plus to tackle delivery problems much more quickly in future.