Benefits and Work is keen to hear from anyone who has joined, or been invited to join, the DWP’s new ‘claimant user rep panel’ which is due to go live in the next few weeks.

DWP minister Penny Mordaunt told the Commons yesterday, when challenged by Angela Eagle over the quality of ESA and PIP assessments and mandatory reconsiderations, that:

“. . . only 3% of those decisions are overturned. The vast majority of the assessments are good. The hon. Lady should let me know if she has examples of where that is not the case. One thing I have done to ensure that we get more timely information about where things are going wrong and where standards are not being maintained is to establish a claimant user rep panel, which will go live in the next few weeks. It will be rolled out on a very large scale across the country.”

We suspect that many claimants will share the view of Benefits and Work, that the DWP will ignore any feedback from such panels that doesn’t match with their current plans and prejudices. But we would be very interested to hear more about the working of this new initiative.

At this stage we don’t even know how claimants will get to join such a panel – will it be by invitation only or will there be adverts in the national press? So, if you have any knowledge about the ‘claimant user rep panel’ we’d love to hear from you.


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