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Standard User TLM
(legend) Tue 28-Apr-15 20:55:02
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Recording a benefits assessment


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Hypothetical question, as I'm not applying for any benefits, but as I have a degenerative condition, it's likely I might have to at some point.

However, I'm in touch with people who do need to apply, and the ATOS guidelines for if you would like to record your assessment interview have been brought to my attention.

Specifically, they say that:
Your recording equipment must be able to produce two identical copies of the recording at the end of the consultation, either in audio cassette or CD format. You will need to give one copy of the recording to the Health Professional undertaking your consultation, at the end of the consultation. Devices like PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones or MP3 players are not acceptable recording devices.


So how, in practice, would anybody go about that, then? Effectively, you can't use ANY contemporary recording device, and you MUST be able to provide two identical hard copies (not digital files) at the end.

I can't think of any device that has an integral capacity to make two identical recordings of the same thing, simultaneously. You could record the digital file, and use it to create first one CD, then the other, but that would presumably contravene the part about PCs, tablets, laptops, smartphones etc. not being permitted, AND the bit about producing two identical copies at the end, because it would require further work (albeit not much) to create the second copy, so you wouldn't literally be able to finish the consultation with a copy each to keep.

I realise the probable intention is to deter as many applicants as possible from even thinking about doing this, but just say you wanted to call their bluff and do it, how would you go about it?

And bear in mind that benefit applicants probably won't have a lot of money to invest in gadgets they're only going to use once or twice, AND might have difficulty carrying a lot of kit to the interview, too. Struggling in with an ancient housebrick of a tape recorder under each arm would probably mean they don't get any benefits, as they've just demonstrated they have "no problems"

T.
Standard User longedge
(member) Tue 28-Apr-15 21:35:45
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Standard interview recording equipment either tape or CD. Not the sort of thing that the average person can afford or would want I suppose.
Standard User TLM
(legend) Tue 28-Apr-15 21:43:42
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: longedge] [link to this post]
 
No, exactly. Especially not for probable one-off use.

Although there's probably a small business to be had, renting it out to other people who would like to record their assessment interview.

If there weren't so many cases of applicants being convinced the assessor wrote up the report with reference to a different interview, OR furnished made-up answers to questions that were neither put nor tested during their assessment, there wouldn't be the issue of people wanting to record it in the first place. It's clearly designed to make it as difficult as possible for them, if NO readily available contemporary equipment (the sort most people already have at home) is acceptable.

T.


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Standard User tommy45
(knowledge is power) Tue 28-Apr-15 21:47:25
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Atos did provide audio recorded face to face interrogations AKA (WCA) on request, this would usually delay the WCA as they had to share the dual cd recording device between several centre's and would ferry it between assessment centres in taxi's
Atos's contract is nearly up, it will be the new company MAXIMUS will take over
Maximus

they would i think use something like this

neal

Edited by tommy45 (Tue 28-Apr-15 21:54:31)

Standard User TLM
(legend) Tue 28-Apr-15 22:01:08
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: tommy45] [link to this post]
 
I realise it won't be Atos forever, but having said that, I doubt the rules about recordings will be significantly overhauled. They don't want people to do it - that much is obvious. It's my bet the successor won't want people to do it, either. So they'll still be saying it's OK as long as you inscribe in on clay tablets, in cuneiform, with a stylus - or similar nonsense.

Apparently, recording has never been available for PIP claims - only ESA - and you never had any enshrined right to the latter. You had to request it, in advance, and they claimed to accommodate requests "where possible", but if they claimed it wasn't possible, you had no redress.

Edit (in response to your added link). No prices quoted. If it's price on application, it suggests an ordinary person - especially a benefit claimant - would find it's out of their league.

My mum always used to say (probably still does, as she's still with us): "If you have to ask, you can't afford it."

There are dozens of gadegets on Amazon listed as "interview recorders" - for £20, or thereabouts. But they're all MP3 recorders & dictaphones, which are expressly banned.

Edited by TLM (Tue 28-Apr-15 22:06:08)

Standard User lelboy
(committed) Wed 29-Apr-15 00:31:06
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
As Tommy says, they can provide the equipment - in fact it's a legal requirement for them to do so - if requested, in writing ( I suggest recorded delivery). All manner of chicanery goes on and, has has been said, the "interview" is often delayed because of "shortage of equipment" - why that should be, I have no idea other than they don't want irrefutable evidence offered at any appeal!
Standard User tommy45
(knowledge is power) Wed 29-Apr-15 00:52:34
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Yes that neal equipment would be expensive, but isnt designed for the home user really, but for it to be able to be used by a court ect, it has to be to a certain standard, and both parties would need a copy,
But there is nothing stopping you using a recording device covertly for your own use , but you couldn't submit it in evidence at a later date

There again audio recorded wca's aren't all that, as ATOS still will tell porkies about their observations ect
Standard User TLM
(legend) Wed 29-Apr-15 10:38:33
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: lelboy] [link to this post]
 
What is your source that it's "a legal requirement", please?

My understanding is that it's on a purely goodwill basis - i.e. you can ask, and they claim they'll "try to accommodate" such requests where possible, but they don't offer any guarantee, and you certainly can't claim any breach of process if they fail to do it - it's just hard luck.

They also say trying to accommodate your request "may delay your claim" - so another reason people who may be desperate for the money would be put off doing it. Most claimants (though I'm not one of them, yet), don't have the luxury of saying: "Oh well, it doesn't matter if this moves me to the back of the queue."

T.
Standard User lelboy
(committed) Wed 29-Apr-15 11:54:44
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
Hello, My source is straight from the horse's mouth i.e. Atos.
I recently - some six months ago - acted on behalf of a disabled friend of mine, who was having an uphill battle with the benefits people. He has had two refusals, on the advice of Atos - the first being unrecorded. Such was their chicanery and untruthfulness, I suggested that they should provide him with the recording facility, as his previous escapades with them were fraught with inaccuracies that required him to go to appeal (successful). They wittered on about "only a few machines available", but when I pressed the matter - citing their previous behaviour - they relented and provided said machine: this was because I told them that he would not participate in any unrecorded interview. Of course they didn't want it recorded, but had to comply or no interview. The ministry also advised that they - Atos - have to provide said machine, and they did, even though it took a few months and the interview was held at a different place (Euston instead of Romford). When the time comes - insist!
Standard User 4M2
(knowledge is power) Wed 29-Apr-15 14:06:48
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Re: Recording a benefits assessment


[re: TLM] [link to this post]
 
It's a shame that none of the current opposition parties have announced that they will scrap the WCA (ATOS/Maximus "medical assessment") if elected and simply use GP and consultant reports to establish whether or not a claimant is fit for work. An assessment made by a single ATOS/Maximus HCP (healthcare professional, who may be a nurse or physiotherapist) does in many cases outweigh the opinion of consultants and GP's when there is an unfavourable result. 40% of those unfavourable results are overturned at appeal (90% if a claimant is represented by an independent benefits adviser) even when an audio recording of the WCA was not used.
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