Capita robustly rejects claim it works off targets

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Capita has robustly rejected the Derry Trades Union Council’s (DTUC) claims that it operates targets in order to reduce the number of sickness benefit claimants.

The multi-sector private services firm that carries out Personal Independence Payment (PIP) reviews for the government in Derry, issued the refutal after the local trade union alliance strongly criticised how claimants were being assessed in the city.

A spokesperson for the firm told the ‘Journal’: “The PIP assessment gathers factual information about a person’s functional capability which the Department for Communities (DfC) reviews, alongside other evidence, to make a decision on eligibility to PIP.

“Capita does not seek to reach a medical diagnosis, and we do not make decisions on awards.”

The firm further told the ‘Journal’ that its operations at its Strand Road offices in Derry were carried out ‘professionally’ and with ‘empathy’.

“All of our disability assessors are qualified healthcare professionals who undergo extensive training.

“We are focused on ensuring our people are equipped with the training, skills and knowledge to carry out assessments across Northern Ireland in a professional and empathetic manner,” the spokesperson said.

Capita firmly rejected the DTUC contention that it sets targets on the number of people who are awarded PIP. It said it simply didn’t make decisions on who gets sickness benefits.