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MSP wants rid of “hated” disability assessments

This news post is about 6 years old

Bid to remove disability assessments from Scotland's new social security system

An MSP is mounting a last ditch attempt to ban hated medical tests for benefit claimants.

Final approval to the Scottish Government’s social security bill comes before Holyrood on Wednesday.

However Green MSP Alison Johnstone wants the “much hated” assessments to be ditched if there is enough pre-existing medical evidence to support an applicant’s claim.

Medical checks can cause “serious disruption and stress” to those trying to claim benefits she claimed.

She said: “I am bringing an amendment that seeks to ban assessments from being undertaken unless the Scottish Government can demonstrate that already existing evidence from GPs, social workers and other professionals is not sufficient to corroborate a claim.

“This will have the effect of significantly reducing the much-hated assessments, a move described by Citizens Advice Scotland as the highest priority for the Scottish social security system.”

Those undertaking assessments will also be required to ask claimants if they have any preference how and where the assessments should be carried out.

“This will help people to understand why and how decisions are being made about their application and should hopefully remove some of the confusion and concern surrounding the process.

“The aim of my amendments is to ensure that respect for the dignity of individuals is at the heart of the Scottish social security system

Disabled activist Paula Jones said Scotland has an opportunity to "right Westminster's wrongs".

"Assessments are created to humiliate claimants," she said. "Scotland's new system can't follow suit - it must be made fairer. And that means ridding us of these inhumane tests."

Social security minister Jeane Freeman said: “We are committed to significantly reducing the number of assessments carried out under our new social security system as we have seen the distress and anxiety the current DWP system causes to so many people.

“I look forward to the debate on Wednesday and the passage of our Bill which will establish Scotland’s first social security system.”



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lok yue
about 6 years ago
Anytime and anywhere public money is spent, care should be taken to ensure best VFM. If someone has a genuine disability I fail to see why they should not be prepared to have such disability confirmed by a medical examination
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