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Hated Tory disability benefit tests will be recorded after the government confessed there is a 'lack of trust' in its own system

Ministers were forced to act after 68% of people who appealed against assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at a tribunal had them overturned

Hated disability benefit tests will be recorded as standard after the government confessed there is a “lack of trust” in its own system.

Ministers were forced to act after 68% of people who appealed against assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) at a tribunal had them overturned.

The current system lets PIP claimants record their assessments if they bring their own equipment.

But the Commons Work and Pensions Committee said this was not good enough after some reports were “riddled with errors” - including a woman said to have walked her dog daily, despite having no dog and barely able to walk.

Today the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “We recognise that there is a lack of trust in the assessment process and that for some people, recording the assessment is something they would like.

“In practice the complexity and potential costs to claimants means that very few take up this option.

“We agree that this does not go far enough to help build trust in the system and therefore we intend to make recording the PIP assessment a standard part of the process.”

Commons Work and Pensions committee chairman Frank Field hailed the “tremendous step forward”, saying: “This move should go a long way to restoring trust and driving up the quality of assessments.”

But he slammed the DWP for refusing to agree another recommendation, that people should be sent their assessment reports automatically.

Disabled people currently have to request them individually.

Genevieve Edwards of the MS Society added: “We’re disappointed the Government hasn’t fully taken on board the practical steps that could have radically improved the way disability benefits are assessed.

“Recording assessments are a start but a lot more needs to be done before we see a welfare system that makes sense.”

Assessments are run by outsourcers Atos and Capita at a cost of more than £500million since PIP launched in 2013.

Philip Connolly, policy manager at Disability Rights UK, said: “Overall, the current assessment providers offer poor value for money for the taxpayer.

“We urge the Government to consider very seriously the option of returning the assessment process in house, given the contracts are up for review.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokeswoman said: “As the committee highlights, assessments work well for the vast majority of people.

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