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Unqualified PIP assessors leaving people feeling humiliated - Bradley.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

SDLP MLA Sinéad Bradley has urged the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities to urgently intervene to address serious concerns about the operation of the new Personal Independence Payments (PIP) regime and the treatment of claimants by assessors with no medical training.

PIP is replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people of working age.

SDLP representatives met with senior representatives of Capita, the private company contracted to carry out assessments, this week to relay concerns.

Ms Bradley said: "We met with the Permanent Secretary to outline our very serious concerns about the operation of the new PIP regime after hearing stories from claimants who had been left feeling degraded and humiliated by the assessment process.

"Deaf claimants asked to face a wall as assessors call their name.


Those with complex mental health issues having their appointments cancelled at the last minute.


Individuals with progressive neurological conditions, assessed by staff with no medical training relating to these complex conditions.

These are nightmare stories from vulnerable people in need of support.

"We asked the Permanent Secretary to instigate an urgent review of the PIP assessment process, to issue a communiqué to Capita instructing assessors to treat claimants with dignity and to give urgent consideration to further exemption rules.

"This new regime is causing severe stress to those most in need of support. The least they deserve is to be treated with dignity and respect throughout the process.

"SDLP representatives have also met with senior representatives of Capita, the private company contracted to carry out assessments, at a meeting this week. They were left in no doubt that change to the assessment process is needed and that we will not let up in our defence of the vulnerable."

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