Foyle SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed the move by the Department for Work and Pensions to audio record PIP assessments.
Mr Durkan said audio recording of the assessments must now become the standard position in Northern Ireland.
He said that PIP claimants were consistently complaining about the accuracy of assessment reports he said. “The frequency with which this issue has, and continues to be raised, has been a source of grave concern to us for some time,” he said.
“Back in November last year and in January this year, the SDLP wrote to the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities to request that audio recording becomes a formal part of the PIP assessment process. Recording assessments can only serve to increase openness, transparency, accountability and public confidence.
“The SDLP have urgently written to the Department for Communities reiterating this call in light of the announcement by DWP, and seeking confirmation of exactly when audio recordings will be available to PIP claimants.”
He added: “No one should have anything to fear from impartial, independent recording of these assessments. It affords protection to both the claimant and Capita assessors and ensures that the truth can be established swiftly in any dispute. The PIP process is letting too many vulnerable people down. It’s time we acted to fix this broken system.”