HARC’s Campaign to improve Benefit Health Assessments.

Over the last 18 months HARC has seen an unprecedented number of people approach us about the current system of healthcare assessments for Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.

Far too many people are telling us they don’t believe they are being listened to when they attend face-to-face appointments as part of the assessment process. Many people tell us they are not being treated with dignity and don’t recognise themselves from the reports written about them. Far too many of HARC’s clients are being refused PIP by DWP, then having to wait over a year before winning an appeal.

Although HARC has been helping and supporting people for many years with benefit issues, we have not felt the need to campaign or petition any Government for quite some time.  However, with the high number of people approaching us, quite frankly with horror stories about their personal experiences we feel we must campaign for change and a fairer system.

Three of our clients, wanted to share their experiences. They have used their own words and some people may find some of what they say upsetting. We make no apologies for that and we accept this is not everyone’s experience. However, far too many of the people we see have and continue to face similar problems. If you would like to listen to their experiences please click on the links below…

Anne Marie’s experience – https://vimeo.com/378674013/41f81e01c2

Ray’s experience – https://vimeo.com/378672022/66d4567932

Tracey’s experience – https://vimeo.com/378675840/11f38fca2d

Nationally, over the last 18 months or so, more than 90,000 PIP appeals and over 61,000 ESA appeals have been won. At the moment around 75% of Personal Independence Payment appeals, 75% of Employment and Support Allowance appeals and 65% of Universal Credit appeals are being won by the claimant. We question why so many people are winning their appeals if the system is “working”.

We strongly believe:-

  • Healthcare providers are not writing accurate factual reports.
  • Inaccurate assumptions are being made about people’s personal situations.
  • Many people attending face-to-face assessments are not being treated with dignity.
  • Some people are being asked to travel too far for their face-to-face appointments.
  • Many face-to-face assessments are unnecessary and do not add any value to the process.
  • Re-assessments are taking place too frequently.
  • The time it takes from challenging a decision to getting a positive outcome is taking far too long.

Because of the above and much more besides, we feel we have no choice but to add our voice to others already campaigning for improvements.

If you want to support our campaign for change, please complete our campaign form. Copies are available in the reception area of our office (address below) or by request using the email address below or by calling us on 01424 428375 – your phone provider may charge you for this call.

You can return it to us by:-

E-mail to:  campaigns@harcuk.com

Posting it to: HARC, Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN.

Handing it in at our reception desk at the above address (open 9am to 3.30pm)

HARC believes DWP must make significant changes so that people receive a better, fairer, timely and more accurate service. Unless changes are made people will continue to lose out financially with their health and wellbeing suffering. Your support will help us to take forward our campaign for improvements.