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Capita Call Centre Worker: Benefit Reform ‘Shambles’ Pushing Disabled People To Suicide

August 3, 2014

With many thanks to the Welfare News Service.

 

Sick and disabled claimants are experiencing severe distress and some are even close to suicide due to botched disability benefit reform, an insider has revealed.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP) are replacing Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for Britain’s sick and disabled, but the assessment process which should take no longer than 26 weeks is sometimes taking twice as long.

The insider, or should we say whistleblower, is a call centre worker for the private contractor Capita, who together with the disgraced private healthcare firm Atos are responsible for assessing PIP claimants on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The two companies are set to make £540 million from the new benefit in the next five years. Atos will receive the larger share of around £400 million, despite heavy criticism and a poor record in delivering ‘fit for work’ tests for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), while Capita will make roughly £140 million.

PIP can be claimed by sick and disabled people regardless of their employment status.

Under the new disability benefit PIP, claimants are required to attend face-to-face assessments to determine their eligibility and the level of benefit they will receive. The whistleblower claims that mismanagement, IT problems and staff shortages are to blame for a backlog of 145,000 cases.

While waiting to be assessed for PIP, many sick and disabled people are often left penniless and unable to pay their rent, because their DLA has been stopped, the whistleblower said.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, the whistleblower said:

“I’ve had people on the phone crying their eyes out and saying they are going to commit suicide.

“On one occasion I had to call an ambulance because they said they had stopped taking their medication. Some people have been going for months and months without money.”

“We’ve started getting calls from people saying their DLA will run out in a month’s time and they’ve not even got an appointment for an assessment.

“Others have been left with nothing because their DLA has been stopped. People have lost their home because they can’t pay their rent.”

She continued: “It’s a shambles. Day in, day out there are people ringing up to say, ‘Why is my appointment cancelled?’ I’ve seen appointments cancelled time and time again.”

According to the whistleblower, Capita call centre staff have been given instructions on what excuses to use when claimants ask why their PIP assessment has been delayed or cancelled. “I am having to lie on a daily basis about why things are taking so long”, she said.

Minister for Disable People Mark Harper told the Daily Mirror: “By the autumn, we anticipate that no one will be waiting for an assessment for longer than 26 weeks.”

Capita said they would be hiring more staff to help reduce the backlog.

 

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this news report please call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 (UK only) or visit their website.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2014 4:34 am

    Reblogged this on stewilko's Blog and commented:
    I have undergone one of these “examinations” and can testify that whole process was a nightmare. The so called “report”, when my care worker read it back to me was filled with lies, assumptions, false information. Needless to say tge HCP, if I can him that ignored all medical evidence we endeavoured to throw his way. It is no way factual, ethical, or evidance based. Likewise, after spending years forwarding medical evidance to the DWP only then to be told, it does not change the descion of no award of DLA.

    They believe they are above or seem to ignore the law, or in Ian Duncan Smith’s and Freuds case endeavour to get the law changed untill it fits.

    Who ever suggested we live in a fair, honest and ethical society. U believe them days have gone. Unless we fight back and show these individuals for what they really stand for. Or what their personalities really are. I have a few suggestions, although thinking about it I will or should keep it to myself.

  2. jeffrey davies permalink
    August 3, 2014 7:14 am

    Minister for Disable People Mark Harper told the Daily Mirror: “By the autumn, we anticipate that no one will be waiting for an assessment for longer than 26 weeks. hahahaha yet more lies it was always a way to rid them selves of many off the dla to pip road culling the cattle rtu ids words not mine but robust filling out of reports is his way whil;e ,any just give up the ghost

    Capita said they would be hiring more staff to help reduce the backlog how many times have we heard this about these private companys whose only goal is profits its never been about assessing you or i but culling the stock so that they can say 600,000 peoples have found that they are fit for work never the truth that around 77weekly die has of yet the show must go on isnt life strange when one has to prove theres something wrong with one when you are on your last legs isnt it very strange to see those in power not even even paying for their pants while you and i suffer that going without yes lifes very strange when greed it seems is the tory way jeff3

  3. August 3, 2014 7:25 am

    Reblogged this on sdbast.

  4. August 4, 2014 11:12 pm

    Reblogged this on Benefit tales.

  5. August 8, 2014 8:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  6. Lorraine williams permalink
    October 16, 2015 10:53 pm

    After being on dla for two years I’ve changed to pip the assesment person who came has lied on her report , even tho I am worse I have lost whole care component, yet been awarded high mobility , she has lied about my med that hubby gives me saying I do it myself also cooking and some others , can they must assume ur lying surely not , thankfully I can prove the facts what can I do

    • Jeffery Davies permalink
      October 17, 2015 6:34 am

      Firstly you must sar all docs used in their assessment of you and ask for a reconsideration giving em a chance for decision maker to look at it once again if ones stuck you find help to do this on dsiel.org were we help each other its free jeff3

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