Disability Assessment Services

Part of Leaving the Eu: Fishing – in Westminster Hall at 5:15 pm on 13th March 2019.

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Photo of Marsha de Cordova Marsha de Cordova Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions) (Disabled People) 5:15 pm, 13th March 2019

I will not; I do not have time, frankly.

The Government announced last week that they would extend the contract of the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments, better known as Maximus, to carry out work capability assessments. Nothing could be worse for any disabled person to hear. Since 2014, an estimated £595 million has been paid to Maximus to carry out assessments and in total £1 billion has been paid out to private contractors. These companies have repeatedly failed the DWP’s standards, so does the Minister agree that rather than extending the contract, it is time to bring these assessments back in-house? Will she confirm that the details of the new contract will be made available to Members?

It appears that I have only 20 seconds left, which is shocking, so let me be clear: we need a radical overhaul of the assessment framework before any moves are taken to combine the assessments. We need an assessment framework that will take into account disabled people’s lived experiences and treat all disabled people with the dignity and respect they deserve.