Headway have been campaigning for a review of assessments for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
Recently they undertook a survey which allowed them to submit evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee in Parliament, to demonstrate the difficulties experienced by people who live with the often hidden, sometimes fluctuating, effects of acquired brain injury (ABI).
You can read Headway’s full submission online at http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/work-and-pensions-committee/pip-and-esa-assessments/written/73465.html
As a result of the survey responses, Headway are calling for
- assessors and decision makers to have specialist training in conditions with hidden and fluctuating effects, specifically ABI, to help them make accurate and appropriate assessments at the initial stages
- a system to demonstrate to applicants that their medical evidence, if submitted, has been received and considered
- the recording of face-to-face assessments to be offered as standard, to provide applicants with evidence and assessors with an accurate record of the questions and responses
The committee is reviewing all the evidence which has been submitted. As well hearing from Headway, the committee has also received evidence from many charities and organisations working with people who are affected by a range of conditions and disabilities, and individuals. The committee will publish a report of its findings, probably in the spring because of the amount of material they need to consider.
The Department for Work and Pensions will be required to issue a formal response and you can be sure we will continue to push for changes to the assessment system and keep speaking up in Parliament for people affected by ABI.
The survey is still open as Headway are planning more campaigning. It is not too late for people to tell us about their own experiences online at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/headwaybenefitssurvey
You can read about previous work Headway have done at
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