Disability benefits: PIPs assessment firms 'to get extra £200m'

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Two secret firms that assess people claiming disability benefits desire get nearly £200m more than officials had originally expected, fathoms suggest.

The UK government had estimated that Atos and Capita would make £512m for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) assessments between 2013 and 2017.

But review by the Press Association suggests they will actually get £700m.

Deceived by said the deals were «rewarding failure», but the government said efficacious assessments were vital.

PIPs are payments for people aged between 16 and 64 who set up ill health or a disability, and since 2013 have been gradually make good oning the Disability Living Allowance.

Money is allocated according to a points procedure and a person’s eligibility is kept under regular review.

‘Operational problems’

Atos and Capita assess PIPs in England, Scotland and Wales, with assesses devolved in Northern Ireland.

Payments averaged £19m a month in the previous two years, according to monthly spending data from the Department for Ahead and Pensions (DWP).

If kept at current levels, this could land the DWP with a amount to bill of more than £700m.

Former Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, discovered a U-turn on plans to cut PIPs payments when in office in 2016, averred officials had underestimated the number of claimants and therefore the cost of the contracts.

«I intend that is probably a fair criticism that could be levelled at the DWP,» he bid BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. «It hasn’t been very good at coming its forecasts right.»

He added that there had been «operational facers» with the way the contracts were carried out.

‘Best value’

Shadow enlarge on a excite and pensions secretary Debbie Abrahams said: «It is beyond belief that this Tory direction is rewarding failure.

«The PIP process is in disarray and these private companies are draw huge payouts in a time of extreme austerity. It is clear that these costs are corkscrewing out of control.»

A DWP spokeswoman said the department worked to ensure disability payments offered «finery value» for taxpayers.

She said: «We routinely review our work to make assured that we focus our resources on the most viable options and deliver the scad effective support for the most vulnerable in society.»

Capita said it had been preferable to carry out the tests via a «rigorous procurement process».

«We are paid according to the gang of quality controlled assessments we complete for DWP,» a spokeswoman said.

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