Government spending on private firms carrying out ‘brutal’ disability benefit assessments soared by £40m in a year

DWP Caxton House

 

By Samuel Osborne  in The Independent.

 

Private firms carrying out controversial disability assessments have received a £40m increase in funding despite widespread concerns with the system, it can be revealed.

A freedom of information request by The Independent found the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) paid Independent Assessment Services (formerly known as Atos) and Capita nearly £255 m last year to perform personal independence payment (PIP)assessments – the highest amount spent on the scheme since its launch in 2013.

A senior Labour politician said the figures were “damning” and showed the Government was “rewarding failure”, while others branded PIP assessments “brutal, fear-provoking and destabilising”.

It comes after the High Court ruled the system was “blatantly discriminatory” against people with mental health conditions, prompting the Government to announce it will review 1.6 million disability benefit claims. It could see up to 220,000 claimants receive higher payments.

 

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Link to Disability Benefits story

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