MPs' doubt over DWP decisions

The Department for Work and Pensions has been criticised for making the wrong decisions on the ability of benefit claimants to work, by the Public Accounts Committee.

Mother speaks of son's appeals over his ability to work

The Department for Work and Pensions has been criticised for making the wrong decisions on the ability of benefit claimants to work, by the Public Accounts Committee.

Gillian Dalley, the mother of Christian Dalley, who has appealed on two separate decisions of being told he's 'fit for work', spoke to ITV Daybreak.

Christian was in a motorbike accident 14 years ago, which left him barely able to read, with difficulty remembering things and planning ahead.

Read: MPs: DWP is making wrong decisions at taxpayer's cost

Nearly 40 per cent of DWP decisions 'overturned'

The Public Accounts Committee has published a report on the Department for Work and Pensions' Work Capability Process.

Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, has accused the DWP of making "poor decisions" at "considerable cost" to the taxpayer.

The report found that the department's decisions were overturned in nearly 40 per cent of appeals, and that Citizens' Advice had recorded a more than 80 per cent rise in the number of people asking for support on appeals in the last year alone.

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Atos 'works hard' to get accurate decision on benefits

We work hard to provide the DWP with as much detailed information as we can to contribute to them making an accurate decision on benefits. We continually review all processes to ensure assessments are of the highest standards and that if improvements are needed we can make them quickly.

Our doctors, nurses and physiotherapists are fully trained and registered with their relevant professional body. They have all received training in the assessment of people with mental health conditions and there are now mental function champions in place across our centres to offer specialist advice.

– Atos Healthcare

DWP: Report 'fails to recognise' recent improvements

Employment Minister Mark Hoban has responded to claims that the DWP is causing "misery and hardship" to claimants.

He said that the report failed to recognise the improvements made to the Work Capability Assessment since the coalition Government came to power in 2010.

We're implementing all of Professor Harrington's recommendations, and the percentage of people getting long term unconditional support has more than doubled in the last two years.

Professor Harrington is clear that the changes we are making to the WCA risk being undermined by those who refuse to acknowledge improvements in the process.

Rather than scaremongering and driving down the reputation of the WCA, critics might like to acknowledge the fact that independent reviews have found no fundamental reforms are needed to the current process because of changes we're making.

– Mark Hoban, Employment Minister

He added that the Government is "determined" to help people who are found fit to work, and that those who are not able to work will continue to get "comprehensive support".

Read: Mark Hoban: 'We have considerably improved' work assessments

Margaret Hodge: 'Poor decision-making' from the DWP

The chair of the Public Accounts Committee who have today issued a report over disability assessment, has warned against criticism over Atos Healthcare.

Contracted by the DWP, the company has received criticism over medical assessments made on whether people are 'fit to work'.

This poor decision-making is damaging public confidence and generating a lot of criticism of the department's contractor for medical assessments, Atos Healthcare - but most of the problems lie firmly within the DWP.

The department is too often just accepting what Atos tells it.

It seems reluctant to challenge the contractor. It has failed to withhold payment for poor performance and rarely checked that it is being correctly charged.

– Margaret Hodge, Chair of The Public Accounts Committee

MPs: DWP is making wrong decisions at taxpayer's cost

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been criticised for making the wrong decisions on the ability of benefit claimants to work.

The Public Accounts Committee has claimed that despite criticism against ATOS, the real issues lay with the department.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been accused of making the wrong decisions and wasting the taxpayer's money Credit: Johnny Green/PA Archive

According to the report, ATOS was paid over £110 million to carry out nearly 740,000 assessments in 2011/12.

Read: Disability assessment debate

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