Hastings Advice and Representation Centre


HARC’s Campaign to improve Benefit Health Assessments.

HARC has had an unprecedented number of people approaching us about the current system of health assessments for Personal Independence Payment, Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit.

Far too many people are telling us they don’t believe they are being listened to when they attend face-to-face appointments as part of the assessment process. Many people tell us they are not being treated with dignity and don’t recognise themselves from the reports written about them. Far too many of HARC’s clients are being refused PIP by DWP, then having to wait over a year before winning an appeal.

For these reasons we feel we must campaign for change and a fairer system for all.

Three of our clients wanted to share their experiences

They have used their own words and some people may find some of what they say upsetting. We make no apologies for that and we accept this is not everyone’s experience. However, far too many of the people we see have and continue to face similar problems. If you would like to listen to their experiences please click on the links below…

Nationally, over the last 18 months or so, more than 90,000 PIP appeals and over 61,000 ESA appeals have been won. At the moment around 75% of Personal Independence Payment appeals, 75% of Employment and Support Allowance appeals and 65% of Universal Credit appeals are being won by the claimant. We question why so many people are winning their appeals if the system is “working”.

We strongly believe:-

  • Reports produced at assessment are factually incorrect.
  • Inaccurate assumptions are being made about people’s personal situations.
  • Many people attending face-to-face assessments are not being treated with dignity.
  • Some people are being asked to travel too far for their face-to-face appointments.
  • Many face-to-face assessments are unnecessary and do not add any value to the process.
  • Re-assessments are taking place too frequently.
  • The time it takes from challenging a decision to getting a positive outcome is taking far too long.

Because of the above and much more besides, we feel we have no choice but to add our voice to others already campaigning for improvements.

If you want to support our campaign for change, please complete our campaign form. Copies are available in the reception area of our office (address below) or by request using the email address below or by calling us on 01424 428375 – your phone provider may charge you for this call.

You can return it to us by:-

E-mail to:  enquiries@harcuk.com

Or Post to: HARC, Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards on Sea, TN37 6AN.

HARC believes DWP must make significant changes so that people receive a better, fairer, timely and more accurate service. Unless changes are made people will continue to lose out financially with their health and wellbeing suffering. Your support will help us to take forward our campaign for improvements.