We gathered our experiences of the benefit assessments, to send to the all-party Work and Pensions Select Committee of MPs. They are looking into assessments because so many people who are refused are winning their case at appeal.
We say: Assessments for ESA and PIP are set up to deny claimants the disability benefits they need and are entitled to. The assessor companies, Atos, Capita and Maximus which profit from these contracts, and the tests themselves, are discredited. (Since 2012, the British Medical Association has policy opposing the Work Capability Assessment and Atos. Atos was forced to pull out of the ESA contract but now has a PIP contract.) Benefit cuts are imposed on people, leading to enormous suffering, destitution and hastening deaths of sick and disabled people. Destitution was first legalised against asylum seekers, and is now commonplace among benefit claimants.
Impact on women and our children. Women with invisible disabilities, mental distress including PTSD, survivors of child abuse, rape and domestic violence; mothers deemed fit to work or not to need daily living help because they are caring for children; traumatised refugee women; women with eating disorders, suffer particular discrimination and suspicion about their eligibility for disability benefits.
Read our full testimony and personal experiences: WinVisible submission on assessments
More about the inquiry here
They will be holding sessions in Parliament open to the public to question agencies and to announce their conclusions — check the inquiry webpage here. They usually hold a session once a week, it can be on different topics as there are several inquiries running.
MPs on the Committee are listed here