In 2017, the then minister for disabled people, Sarah Newton, saidthat the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was “recruiting, training and deploying” approximately 150 presenting officers (POs) to attend Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) tribunals “in order to present the Secretary of State’s case and support the first tier tribunal in arriving at the right decision”.
The question is the ‘right decision’ for whom? It’s certainly not disabled people.
Given that, at the point of appeal, the Secretary of State’s case has already been presented twice – at the first DWP decision following assessment and again during the mandatory review – it seems that the government is using an incredibly oppressive and authoritarian approach to prevent successful appeal outcomes for ill and disabled people trying to access disability-related social security alone, without legal aid and support in the majority of cases.
View original post 1,954 more words