The offended dad rebelled on the bosses after his severely disabled son was checked to see if he was eligible for payments – despite the fact that he could not move, eat or see.
The 50-year-old John McMullan said that he was “amazed” by the assessment of his son Declan, 26, who suffers from the locked up syndrome.
Appraisers from the private company Capita insisted on calling Declan, from Crossgar in Co Down, Northern Ireland.
They work in the local department of community affairs to check whether applicants for personal benefits for independence, which replaces disability benefits.
Then, the Capital employee began a series of “ignorant interrogations,” says John, and at some point allegedly insisted on seeing Declan face to face.
John said that the appraiser showed "complete ignorance" of his son's condition, which, he said, doctors compared with the fact that he was "buried alive."
Speaking to Belfast Live, he added: “In my opinion, I provided sufficient evidence of Declan’s disability, but I doubt that they really understood what is on this paper.
"I do not think that people evaluating are suitable for this."
Declan was left disabled after a heart attack seven years ago, during which oxygen was cut off from reaching his brain.
In the end, he was approved to receive a new PIP payment, but Pope John was stunned to see that he did not receive a full assessment for his daily needs.
John said: “Declan cannot eat and drink PEG, but the expert gave him 6 points out of 10 for the level of help he needs while eating and drinking.
“He cannot move at all, only blinks, but the expert gave him only two out of eight points about whether he needs supervision or help in managing his therapy.
"He received 2/8 for his help in making budgeting decisions and only 4/8 for support in social situations."
John added: “I knew that Declan would never be denied a PIP. It was just the stupidity of the process and the fact that even he did not get points.
“Declan is probably one of the most disabled in Northern Ireland. How invalid should you be? ”
A spokesman for the Department of Community Affairs said: “The department expects High Standards from Capita, which deliver the PIP Evaluation Service, and must comply with strict quality standards set by the Department.
“Each disability certificate must have at least two years after registration, which must be carried out within the framework of an approved health profession and be thoroughly trained in accordance with the DFC guidelines before conducting PIP assessments.
“Capita is committed to providing high quality and responsive service for people applying for PIP.
“His disability evaluators are health care professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to conduct PIP assessments in Northern Ireland.
“The PIP assessment examines how people can perform a number of key everyday activities.” In each of the activities there are several descriptors, each of which represents a different level of ability to carry out its activities.
“Individuals are scored for each type of activity, depending on how well they can perform them, and the help they need to do, which is based on the evidence presented and collected.
“Disability assessment guidelines and case managers for IPPs are expected to be provided in the PIP Evaluation Guidelines.
“For customers who are dissatisfied with the service provided by Capita, there is a reliable complaint process that includes the possibility of escalating the complaint to the Department if they believe that it has not been satisfactorily resolved.
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“The terms of employment contracts for disability certificates are subject to capitalization and are not established by the Department.
“However, the Department understands that the annual £ 3,000 stimulus is entirely based on the fact that the Disability Assistant maintains regular high-quality reports on a timely basis and is in no way connected with decisions on the right to the PIP.
“Decisions on granting rights to individuals to the PIP are made by the Department.
“Each requirement is considered on an individual basis, and decisions are made on the basis of available evidence and relevant legislation.
“More people get PIP with the highest level of benefits than with DLA.”
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