The Countess of Mar tabled a question asking whether claimants will have an automatic right to a copy of their assessment for employment support allowance, disability living allowance and the forthcoming personal independence payment at the time of the assessment; and if not, why not.
In his answer on 15 October, the Minister for Welfare Reform at the DWP, Lord Freud, replied:
Claimants can request a copy of any assessment reports provided to DWP following assessments in relation to employment and support allowance and disability living allowance. Requests can be made at any time and the responsibility for issuing reports lies with the department.
Assessments are, however, not provided at the time of the assessment itself. This is because decisions on benefit entitlement are not made by the health professional carrying out the assessment but by a departmental decision-maker. The assessment report only forms part of the evidence used by the decision-maker and providing it to the claimant in advance of the decision might be misleading.
We intend to follow an identical approach for personal independence payment, when it is introduced from 2013-14.