Recording PIP assessments for your own protection?

For information and discussion about benefits
Good, if depressing, article on the BBC news site.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41581060

Someone recorded their own (re-)assessement, and found his recording did not tally with what the official record set out (which, amazingly - not! - resulted in him being down-graded.....)

Although secret recording is neither legal, nor, apparently, admissible evidence (it's not tamper proof), the judge in question upheld it.

Apparently there ARE tamper-proof recording devices available, and it IS legal to use them in an assessment. But they cost £1500.

Surely this is a good opportunity for disability charities/support groups to make them available to RENT for an assessment? Seems the obvious thing to do, since most folk only get assessed infrequently (ie, not enough to warrant the expense, even if they could afford it.)

(Personally, I always take notes in things like medical interviews, but again, I could be 'faking' them just as much as the medics!)

(I got told off by some bossy cow of a consultant once - who told me to stop writing everything down she was telling me. Obviously got up her nose. I told her I would not remember anything she'd said the moment I walked out the door. She definitely did NOT like it.)(Tough - my body, my choices.)
From the Diability Rights UK web site :

https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news ... ssessments
The DWP has produced a FAQ on the audio recording of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessments

The FAQ states that:

You do not have a legal right to have your face-to-face assessment recorded but all requests will be accommodated where possible.

You should always request audio recording in advance.

You must sign a consent form.

If recording equipment is not available you may have to wait longer than normal for their face-to-face assessment. Although this may slow down the benefit process it will not effect your entitlement to benefit.

You can request to have a home based assessment recorded.

You may be allowed to use your own recording equipment providing you give DWP/Atos notice and it meets DWP/Atos Healthcare requirements. This includes providing two copies of the recording in such a way to ensure that the recording has not been tampered with and is a reliable and accurate record of the assessment.

Approved recording media are standard CD and audio tapes only. Video recording of assessments is not permitted.

If you are caught making a secret recording your assessment will be terminated.

Any recording made will not form part of your benefit claim records. Copy recordings will not be returned to the DWP with case papers or be considered as part of the initial decision making process. Recordings will be stored securely by Atos Healthcare for a period of 14 months after which time they will be destroyed.

You can ask a Tribunal to consider a recording as additional evidence during an appeal. The acceptance of the recording as evidence is at the discretion of the Tribunal.

There are no plans to offer audio recording to PIP claimants. The Department intends to look closely at the Employment and Support Allowance experience and is evaluating the impact of audio recording, before taking any decisions on whether to include it as part of the PIP process in the longer-term.

Information about audio recording is available on the Atos Healthcare website for claimants who wish to have their face-to-face assessment recorded. DWP and Atos Healthcare will also amend written communications with claimants to provide more information about the recording facility and how to request a recorded assessment.

You can view the full FAQ at www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/up ... ts_FAQ.pdf

The Secretary of State answered questions in relation to audio recording at www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201 ... 0670000031

For more information on ESA see our Factsheet F31 - employment and support allowance



Silly question but ... don't we exist in a democratic society ?

What is said during an interview NOT open to manipulation against either party ?

A recording of an inteview by our police with a suspect is standard proceedure.

Why not so with the innocent " Suspect " during a PIPs interrogation ?

Surely not a case of a suspected criminal have more " Rights " that a citizen trying to claim PIPs ????



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" Well DWP , what have you to say for yourselves this time ? "

" Sorry your Lorship , our tape suffered a Richard Nixon ... 18 minutes worth just " Vanished " ! "
Just to add that there are numerous forums on this issue.

Type RECORDING PIP ASSESSMENTS FORUMS into any search engine and a whole tombstone worth will appear.

Also , repeat without FORUMS and search again under NEWS in case any have been picked up by local rags recently.

Mostly feedback from those who have gone through the process with varying levels of success.

Would be interesting to learn whether there is any post code lottery at play ... one office says " Yes " , another says " No " to the same question.