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PIP Assessment Recording Equipment

PIP Assessment Recording Equipment

Disabled people undergoing Personal Independence Payments assessments in Sheffield now have the option of borrowing recording equipment from Disability Sheffield – thanks to the generosity of DPAC Sheffield.

The local branch of campaigning organisation Disabled People Against Cuts recently launched their campaign ‘On The Record’, with a crowdfunder, to ensure that disabled people can get their face-to-face assessment interviews taped.

The assessments are performed by private contractors Atos and Capita and afterwards claimants can ask for a written report which it is claimed frequently bears little relation to the actual assessment; this has resulted in the DWP cutting or even taking away payments entirely. Claimants have the right to record their assessments but usually have to supply their own equipment. The DPAC Sheffield kit comes as two portable, PAT tested cassette recorders with blank cassette tapes and a 2-gang extension cord in an aluminium case; strict DWP rules prevent people from using modern electronic recording devices

A Disability Sheffield volunteer was the first person to use the DPAC Sheffield equipment and since then they have raised enough money to buy several more sets – one of which will now be kept at the Disability Sheffield office at The Circle in Sheffield city centre.

The volunteer said: “This is an excellent move and very kind of DPAC Sheffield as it means that there is now a central base where the equipment is stored and people can come and pick it up and drop it off afterwards. It certainly made me feel a lot more confident during my assessment knowing what was said would be on the record and I got a very good result.”

Jen Jones from DPAC Sheffield added: “Together Disability Sheffield and DPAC Sheffield are supporting PIP claimants in Sheffield. We can and will achieve positive change for our disabled community. If the Disability Sheffield kit is out on loan at the time of your assessment, you can of course contact us see if we have a kit free.”

Activist collective Recovery In The Bin has jointed in and issued a guide to where in the country you can get recording kits and how other campaigns and individuals can make their own.

If you are undergoing an assessment and would like to borrow equipment you can email dpacsheffield@gmail.com or info@disabilitysheffield.org.uk or telephone Disability Sheffield on 0114 253 6750. Please note that you have to inform the assessment company three working days in advance that you intend recording the meeting.

You can still donate to the crowdfunding appeal.

Both DPAC Sheffield and Disability Sheffield have their own Twitter sites. You can pick up a free On The Record campaign badge from Union St Café opposite Howden House.

The photograph features Andrew Crooks from Disability Sheffield with DPAC’s David Hayes.


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