Parliamentary Committee uses FRU evidence to urge improvements to benefit assessments

FRU evidence has contributed to an important report from the Work & Pensions Select Committee published today. The Committee conducted an enquiry into how claims for Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance are assessed by the Dept. for Work & Pensions.

The Committee found that although most claimants proceed through their PIP and ESA assessments without significant problems, a sizable minority do not. The Committee reported that PIP and ESA provide vital financial support to disabled people. Claimants should be able to rely on assessments for those benefits being efficient, fair and consistent. Failings in the processes—from application, to assessment, to decision-making and to challenge mechanisms—have contributed to a lack of trust in both benefits. This risks undermining their entire operation.

FRU’s submission to the enquiry can be found here:

In particular the Select Committee drew on FRU’s evidence on challenging decisions at Mandatory Review, that evidence from different claims should be available to decision makers and on the fact that evidence obtained by independent appeal tribunals was often previously available but not properly sought.

FRU Chief Executive David Abbott said: "this is an important and balanced report on a topic that FRU has a great deal of experience in. FRU was pleased to take the opportunity to feed the experience of our clients into this review so that future decision making for highly vulnerable people can be improved". The Work & Pensions Select Committee report can be found here