Letter to my local MP
"How much money is the government wasting on this stupid process?! Why is PIP (and ESA) not decided by your GP and Specialists? Why is a random nurse’s opinion and a DWP worker’s opinion deemed more accurate than my health professionals? It just seems such a waste of government spending. I know they say they need to test everyone to make sure people are not ‘ conning’ the system, but all it is doing is make people jump through un-jumpable hoops and making people ill and even commit suicide.
I would love to see the figures of how much it costs to employ ATOS to assess people, how much it costs to employ people to read the reports and work out the decision, how much it costs them to run the buildings that the assessments are completed at and how much it costs to employ people to go over a mandatory reconsideration...and then how much it costs to go though the appeal process...surely it would be cheaper and much more effective for the sick and disabled to have their PIP and ESA decisions made by the people who deal with them the most. And it shouldn’t be such a long-winded process. It can take up to a year to reach a tribunal after a mandatory reconsideration and 70% of cases are won so this alone proves the current system is not working.
Sorry for the long email, but I feel these points need to be raised with the Tories – Instead of them rattling on about how much the sick and disabled cost the taxpayer, maybe they could show everybody how much it cost the taxpayer to put the sick and disabled through the PIP process, and how much money could be saved by leaving the decisions up to GP’s etc. Now I know they will say that GP’s are already stretched and are at breaking point, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy time-consuming process. If the GP’s and Specialists agree that someone needs PIP or ESA then that should be enough. That could all be done through emails and letters and basically ticking a box telling the DWP that the person has been seen numerous times and requires whatever rate of care and mobility rate the GP etc. Believe they are entitled to. I know this is not a perfect solution to the problem by any means but something needs to change. My health has been made so much worse throughout this process and I’m only half way there. By the time my decision is made correctly I will probably have to renew my PIP and start the whole process again!"