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PIP assessment - client can’t go to assessment centre. ATOS won’t go to them at home due to risk. Any solution?

 

JAS1
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Advice Worker, Gaddum Centre

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Hello,

I imagine the outcome of this issue may vary across the country but this client is in Manchester so it is ATOS it relates to.

Client has MH problems and psychical health issues. For these reasons can not get to the assessment centre. Apparently ATOS won’t do a home visit due to risk to the HCP. I think this relates to the client sometimes having angry outbursts.

Client wants to meet the HCP in a neutral location (a day centre). ATOS say they will definitely not do this.

Anyone ever had any luck in getting an assessment done anywhere that isn’t either home or the assessment centre?

I have never heard of it happening but thought I would check, just in case there was any angle I could take to avoid claim getting closed down.

Cheers and happy Friday

     
ClairemHodgson
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SC Law, Harrow

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mmmm

well as others have pointed out elsewhere, they do have a duty to make reasonable adjustments…. and your client has offered them a solution that does just that…...

     
tarzier
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The Regard Partnership, Kingston

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I would ask if they do a paper based assessment then.  They should have details of your client’s GP and other health professionals involved. Also if you have any other medical evidence I would stick that in.

     
JAS1
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Cheers both. I was wondering whether the reasonable adjustments route would be worth exploring, so thanks for confirming Claire.

Would a paper based assessment be carried out by ATOS then, or would they send it back to DWP decision maker if they aren’t able to do a face to face?

     
Rosie W
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Northumbria Healthcare Welfare Rights Service

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Not the same situation but shows the worth of even mentioning the EA - client with significant and well documented (on the PIP2 and supporting evidence) learning disability was given a date for home visit assessment but with the stipulation that the corporate appointee attended, which was clearly inappropriate.
We suggested changing the venue for the assessment to the day centre which the client attends regularly and where there would be staff who are familiar with her and her condition. Completely blanked by Atos until we dropped into the conversation that the corporate appointee would be having a discussion with Legal about whether an EA claim could be considered.

2 days later, a paper assessment had been carried out and enhanced rate of both components awarded for an ongoing period.

     
JAS1
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That’s very useful to know Rosie. I will definitely go down that route with ATOS then (sorry ” Independent Assessment Services” I should say!)

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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Welfare Benefits, Craven CAB, N Yorks

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The PIP guidance, for what it’s worth:

2.6.3. Face-to-face consultations may be carried out at a range of locations, including an assessment centre, local healthcare centre or at the claimant’s own home.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/547146/pip-assessment-guide.pdf

I don’t know if “local healthcare centre” is further defined elsewhere.

Anecdotally, if a claimant can manage getting to an assessment centre by taxi, it’s easier to get Atos to agree to pay for that than it is for them to agree a home visit. For a home visit you’d likely need good GP evidence, eg does the GP themselves do home visits?

     
Dan Manville
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What I do in these situations is get the evidence together myself and ask Capita to do a Paper Based Assessment. It never fails, however I do have most of the evidence at my fingertips which makes it a lot easier.

      [ Edited: 17 Jul 2017 at 09:26 am by Dan Manville ]
MaggieB
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Dorchester CAB

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What are you dong that I’m not Dan? Have a client with both PIP and ESA medicals looming. Asked for paper decision, sent loads of evidence as client not likely to turn up or if he does potential to get angry and walk out… 1st medical date sent, second on the way according to whoever they are now..

     
midge_ma
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CASTR, South Oxhey

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I had exactly this situation when PIP started and the assessment centres offered were impossible for client to reach as the journey would take too long for his back problems/were too complicated or expensive or stressful to reach. ATOS refused a home visit even if the client was chaperoned by a family member, or an assessment at the CAB office with the benefits caseworker present, possibly on health and safety grounds given something in the history. We wrote to the MP, who wrote to the Minister, and made several complaints and the complaint was finally escalated to someone at the DWP who came back and said PIP had been awarded on the paperwork. There was good evidence supporting physical and mental health problems to justify the decision.

Given that we now have an assessment centre a few miles away I hope that the situation will not arise again in this area.

     
Mike Hughes
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Nothing much to add to the above except… check out the DLA/PIP safeguarding thread. It may well be that the client shouldn’t have been down for a face to face in the first place. I’m starting to have some success with this argument with regard to failure to attend.

After that EA 10 is definitely the way to go. A formal letter advising that the client is a disabled person under EA 10 (assuming of course that they are) and thus entitled to RAs. There’s no obligation to mention what RAs as the duty is an anticipatory one but if you’re putting it on a plate for them. Always worth making it clear that you do have an intent to pursue an EA 10 case if necessary and especially worth pointing out that there’s no upper cap on pay outs. Tends to either focus their minds and get a quick result, or, demonstrate such a spectacular level of ignorance that an EA 10 claim becomes a whole lot easier.

     
Dan Manville
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MaggieB - 14 July 2017 05:25 PM

What are you doing that I’m not Dan?

 

speaking softly and carrying a big stick

Dan Manville - 10 July 2017 10:57 AM

You know me; I’ve been banging on about the EQA for years now and had some intriguing results along the way…