Share your thoughts with the Government
The Committee has opened an inquiry in response to some of the recent criticisms of the two benefits.
Some of the most notable issues include the assessors’ ability to assess a wide range of physical and mental health conditions and the high success rate (65%) in appealing a decision.
The Committee is interested in hearing recommendations for changes, and lessons that can be learned.
Some of the points to consider include:
- Do contractor assessors possess sufficient expertise to carry out assessments for people with a wide range of health conditions?
- Is the Department for Work and Pensions quality control for contractors sufficient and effective?
- Should the options for reforming the Work Capability Assessment discussed in the Government’s Government’s Improving Lives green paper be taken forward?
- What examples of best practice in assessing eligibility for benefits are available internationally and how transferrable are they to ESA and/or PIP?
- Why do claimants seek to overturn initial assessment outcomes for ESA and/or PIP?
- Why are levels of disputed decisions higher for PIP than for ESA?
- Is the Mandatory Reconsideration (MR) process working well for claimants of ESA and/or PIP?
- What accounts for the rate of overturned decisions at appeal for PIP and/or ESA?
- Are there lessons that could be learned from the ESA MR and appeal process for PIP and vice-versa?
- What changes could be made earlier in the process to ensure fewer claimants feel they need to appeal?
- Do prospective claimants currently understand the purpose of the assessment?
- How could claimants be helped to better understand the assessment process?
- Are some groups of claimants particularly likely to encounter problems with their assessments – and if so, how can this be addressed?
- Should the assessment processes for PIP and ESA be more closely integrated? How else might the processes be streamlined for claimants?
Submissions are due by 10 November 2017.