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      Can I record my ESA/PIP consultation?

It is possible for you to audio record your consultation. There are certain requirements that DWP have set for the audio recording of consultations, which have been listed below:

  • You can request to audio record your consultation by calling our Customer Service Centre, but you will need to provide your own equipment.

  • Inform us beforehand that you wish to record your consultation, which can be done by calling our Customer Service Centre. Please let us know as soon as possible, as we may not be able to accept requests made on the day of your consultation.

  • 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.

  • You will need to sign an agreement that sets out what you are and are not allowed to do with the recording.

We will keep our copy of the recording securely for a maximum of 14 months. After that time, we will destroy it. We don’t normally pass the recordings onto DWP and they do not use it when deciding on your entitlement and award of ESA/PIP.

It is also useful to note that if you try to record the consultation without contacting us before hand and agreeing with the requirements set out above then your consultation may be stopped and we may have to pass your case back to DWP

Suitable mediums for recording consultations To record their consultations, claimants must use appropriate equipment that can provide two copies of the recording in such a way that the provider can be assured that the recording has not been tampered with and is a reliable and accurate record of the consultation.

A copy must be given to the provider at the end of the consultation. For this reason certain devices that have the capability of editing, real-time streaming or video recording the session are not approved, such as computing devices (not limited to PCs, tablets, smart phones, MP3 players) or devices that are not capable of providing a verifiable media copy that can be easily verified during the assessment.

Media types that are acceptable are standard CD and audio tapes only.

Video recording of assessments is not permitted in order to ensure the safety and privacy of staff and other customers. Restrictions placed on claimants about the use of recordings If it is only the claimant’s personal data that is being recorded then there are no restrictions on the use the claimant can make of the recording. ~

However the DWP reserves the right to take appropriate action where the recording is used for unlawful purposes, for example, if it is altered and published for malicious reasons.
( So as long as you don’t change it in any way, you CAN publish?)

Covert recording of consultations

If the HP notices a claimant is covertly recording their consultation, the restrictions relating to the recording of consultations should be explained to the claimant. If the HP is content to be recorded, the claimant is content to sign the agreement form and the claimant’s equipment meets the specified requirements, the consultation can continue. If this is not the case the claimant should be asked to stop recording. If the claimant refuses, the consultation should be terminated and the case should be returned to DWP using the return assessment function with reason failure to participate. The CM will consider whether the claimant has good reason for failing to participate in the consultation. If the only reason for failure to participate is the claimant refused to stop recording their consultation, it is likely the CM will make a negative determination.

"Please note the following "

A covert recording cannot be used as evidence in a social security Tribunal. It can be used in certain circumstances as evidence in a criminal court or in a civil action in the High Court. Recording someone covertly is not illegal except if done via a communications system like a phone. But the person who's been recorded has rights over their own recording and so to publish it by sending to another person or putting it online would breach their privacy and they can sue for damages. You might also commit an offence under the data protection act.

But the final point is the most important - all the recording will prove is that the assessment is faulty. Tribunals already know this which is why 65% of people win their PIP appeal.

 ©A1 ESA/DLA/PIP Benefits Help and Support (UK only)

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