£500m for benefit assessors
TWO private companies have earned more than £500 million over four years conducting fit-for-work assessments of disability benefit claimants.
Newly-published data apparently showed that Atos and Capita were paid a total of £211m for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments in the first 11 months of 2016, £198m in 2015, £91m in 2014 and £7m in 2013 – the year the benefit was launched.
The assessments are carried out when claimants move from the old Disability Living Allowance, which is being replaced by PIP, to determine whether they are entitled to the new benefit.
The Daily Mirror said 61 per cent of 90,000 claimants who appealed against a PIP decision at a tribunal in the period up to September this year won their case.
An Atos spokesman said: “The Atos team undertake PIP assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and do not take a decision on a person’s eligibility for PIP – that decision can only be taken by the DWP.”