Disability benefits assessor suspended after mocking claimants
And it was on Facebook for everyone to see…
Sarah Goldstein, 24, suffers from fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s phenomenon, chronic anxiety, migraines and depression.
Sarah made her first appeal for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) in October 2014 but was turned down so she reapplied at the end of 2015.
A nurse working for Capita on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, visited her at home in March 2016 to assess Sarah. Unfortunately Sarah was turned down again but she said their were a number of falsehoods in the report.
She said these include claims she gave birth to her 13-month-old daughter AJ naturally. Sarah actually had a c-section, something she claims she was not asked about during the assessment. That she was calm, relaxed and her mood appeared stable but her husband Jay, 25, disagreed and said his wife was “clearly anxious” and did not make eye contact with the assessor.
After Sarah read through the report she decided to look the nurse up on social media and found many posts dating back to 2014.
Some of the posts read;
”I’d like to removed his wheels and catapult the scrounger back to whatever s***hole he came from”
”FFs. Life On Benefits this program breaks me!! So it’s not very nice life on a skateboard!! Why do our taxes have to keep them!!!! He could get a job fitting carpets then maybe just maybe our pensioners could have the retirement they deserve!!!!”
Another post was a shared meme from ‘Britain First’ about a 95 year old blind widow being kicked out of the NHS to make way for migrants.
Sarah said: “I didn’t go out looking for dirt, but I was shocked and horrified nonetheless. We want people to understand the struggle people go through with this new benefits system – people need to see that people like this is what we’re up against. Disabled people are human beings and we deserve a good quality of life – we don’t deserve to be treated like this. This nurse clearly isn’t the best person for that kind of job. This whole saga has made me seriously unwell – I’ve not been eating or sleeping properly, I’ve been stressed out and having panic attacks – I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. Clearly someone who can write posts like this doesn’t have the compassion needed for the job.”
A Capita spokesperson said: “The individual was suspended as soon as we were made aware of the allegations, and further investigations are taking place. All prospective assessors are subject to strict security and vetting checks. We also have strict policies in place which govern the use of social media.”
Have you ever been met by unprofessionalism when trying to claim PIPs? Should there be changes made?