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Brain injury survivors call on the government to provide specialist assessors for benefit claims

Thu 08 Apr 2021

Brain injury survivors and their carers have met with the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Justin Tomlinson MP, to share their experiences of navigating the benefits system.

Building on Headway’s Right First Time campaign, the Minister had the chance to hear direct from brain injury survivors, the things they would like to see change about the benefits system.

Survivor Marco Gambi told the Minister: “My experience is that there are various mental and physical issues that are either disregarded or misunderstood in assessments.

“I find assessments can be degrading, especially when assessors can make you feel like you’re not being taken seriously.”

The request to have assessors with specialist training in brain injury was a sentiment shared by all the participants. Dee Blackwell, mum to brain injury survivor Gareth, wants more understanding.

She said: “Every time I support Gareth at an assessment it appears that assessors don’t know much at all about brain injury.

“Worrying about not being understood or believed only adds to the anxiety of what is already a very stressful situation.”

We hope that the feedback provided at the meeting will be reflected in the government’s upcoming National Strategy for Disabled People which is due to published imminently.

Headway has committed to meet with the DWP again in the coming months to further contribute to their consultation activities.


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