GPs’ paperwork dispute leads to benefits delay for disabled people

Disability organisations have raised fears about delays to
disability living allowance claims after GPs refused to complete a

Doctors are returning the form, which has increased from five to
eight pages, to the Department for Work and Pensions, complaining
they are not obliged to fill them in and have received no increase
in the £17 fee they receive per form.

The Disability Alliance and British Council of Disabled People have
urged the government to increase the fee so disabled people are not
left without financial help.

Campaigns and policy officer at the alliance, Richard Holmes, said
it was surprising that the government had chosen to make the GP
form more complicated while piloting a new, simpler one for

“I do not understand the reasoning behind this, but the issue must
be addressed otherwise people who are entitled to services will be
denied,” he said.

A spokesperson for the DWP said the form had been extended because
GPs had said the original did not allow space for supplementary
information. But last week, the DWP said it had received 168
complaints from GPs about the new forms and was planning to review
the fee structure.

But Dr Peter Holden, chairperson of the British Medical
Association’s professional fees committee, said that GPs had been
complaining for 15 years about the amount of additional work
created by the number of social security forms they were expected
to complete.

He added that their complaints were not about money, but the
expectation that doctors should carry out this task.

“Social services issues are not at the top of our daily priorities
and we are fed up with having huge numbers of forms dumped on our
desks,” said Holden.

“Forget the fees. GPs are not interested in filling the form
because it is not their daily bread.”

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