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WCA assesments home visits when Maximus refuse

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Sarah-B
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Hi all. 

Just checking what tactics everyone takes when a client is unable to attend a WCA medical but Maximus are refusing a home visit even with medical evidence, on the grounds that a person can get to hospital they can get to the assessment centre? 

Do you escalate thro Maximus own complaints procedure or do you send a pre-action letter citing the Equalities Act?

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Jane O-P
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I’ve had success in the past escalating within Maximus, not through the complaints process but by contacting their stakeholder liaison people. I don’t think I’ve got any up to date contact details unfortunately.

Jane

     
Mike Hughes
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Varies from case to case but EA 10 route never produces a response letter but seems to always produce a HV.

     
Sarah-B
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We have an MP email address but I just wondered what other advisers’ experiences were.  Sorry Mike what is EA 10 route?

     
Mike Hughes
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Sarah-B - 23 August 2018 12:38 PM

We have an MP email address but I just wondered what other advisers’ experiences were.  Sorry Mike what is EA 10 route?

Equality Act 2010.

     
Andrew Dutton
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Just had an interesting one - claimant told that if she can:

attend her GP’s surgery
put the bins out
answer the door

- then she cannot have a home visit. “The rules are the rules.”

Intriguing.

MP now involved.

 

 

     
Invictus
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I also have a case currently where the assessment provider doesn’t accept the GP evidence which confirms the patient is frequently unable to travel or leave his home due to chronic anxiety, as “insufficient” grounds for a home assessment. Previous decisions that they didn’t have good cause for failing to attend were revised under appeal without having to attend a tribunal using the same evidence, so DWP accepted they couldn’t attend but it looks like my client is going to keep being prevented from actually getting assessed by a private company not a DWP decision maker. I couldn’t find a complaints procedure for Atos/Capita so I’ve referred the case to the MP’s office.

     
Mike Hughes
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I honestly don’t even bother with the GP letter. Just go straight for an assertion of being a disabled person unde EA 10 and ask for it as a reasonable adjustment. They’re then painted into the corner of having to decide which of the legitimate reasons for refusal they can use knowing that the next step is an ET (and maybe reminding them of that if I’m in a mood). They either leap straight to paper based assessment or agree the HV.

     
Invictus
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Thanks Mike, I’ll bear that in mind for the next one, though I’m not actually sure how I would go about taking action under EA if push came to shove…presumably I would have to refer to someone with specialist experience?

     
Daphne
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You might find this online handbook helpful - https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/12894/

     
Rosie W
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Invictus - 31 October 2018 09:49 AM

Thanks Mike, I’ll bear that in mind for the next one, though I’m not actually sure how I would go about taking action under EA if push came to shove…presumably I would have to refer to someone with specialist experience?

I wouldn’t worry too much about that - to date they have always capitulated when I’ve mentioned the EA. Works with Atos too, if you’re in Atosland. And there’s the Equality and Human Rights forum on here for further help!

     
Mike Hughes
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Rosie W - 31 October 2018 10:42 AM
Invictus - 31 October 2018 09:49 AM

Thanks Mike, I’ll bear that in mind for the next one, though I’m not actually sure how I would go about taking action under EA if push came to shove…presumably I would have to refer to someone with specialist experience?

I wouldn’t worry too much about that - to date they have always capitulated when I’ve mentioned the EA. Works with Atos too, if you’re in Atosland. And there’s the Equality and Human Rights forum on here for further help!

Ha, I was reticent at claiming a 100% success rate as I tend to wince when some advisers use that sort of stat. as a measure of their authority. However, yes, same here. There’s nothing fancy about the letter. “I’m a disabled person under EA 10 because… Therefore I require the following reasonable adjustments because… if you’re going to refuse me please specify which of the legitimate reasons for refusal apply so I can frame further appropriate action”.

Thus far, over a two year period, 100% success whether on my own cases or advising people on our advice line.

     
Rosie W
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It wasn’t meant as a boast. It’s a useful tactic but that’s all. I keep wondering if or when they will start calling my (non) bluff. Not a bluff because I will pursue it if it becomes necessary as their refusals are often meaningless “computer says no” stuff.

     
shawn
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I certainly didn’t read it as a boast Rosie ...

     
Mike Hughes
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Rosie W - 31 October 2018 11:37 AM

It wasn’t meant as a boast. It’s a useful tactic but that’s all. I keep wondering if or when they will start calling my (non) bluff. Not a bluff because I will pursue it if it becomes necessary as their refusals are often meaningless “computer says no” stuff.

Don’t read that aspect of my post as having a go at you for boasting :) It was off topic really and more of a general observation.

I suspect one of the things which plays in our favour is that at the assessment provider end these are things which are, with all due respect to the people involved, decisions made by administrators. By and large I suspect it’s just people looking to book and list and they will do so, even in the face of medical evidence, where it meets their tick boxes for “carry on as you are and book the appointment”.

When something comes in mentioning EA 10 and RAs I suspect they’ve no process beyond maybe a tick box titled “back off” (I’m not being literal here) and it probably goes nowhere near anyone qualified to look at it and go “hang on, this one ain’t covered by EA 10 at all” or similar. Consequently I don’t think they will ever call our bluff. Were they to do so they would be in for a shock when the ET1 was lodged.

     
Invictus
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Daphne - 31 October 2018 09:56 AM

You might find this online handbook helpful - https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forums/viewthread/12894/

Thanks Daphne, I didn’t realise this handbook was on here, so I have some interesting bedtime reading to do!
Thanks also to Rosie W & Mike. I feel I should be able take this situation on now. I was inspired by the EA discussion at the NAWRA conference this summer and I have managed to get assessments in other towns moved to local centres by citing disability discrimination (it’s amazing how they can actually find an appointment locally when they want to) but I hit a brick wall recently with the home assessment request, and didn’t feel that I knew enough to follow through if necessary or where to get practical advice about it- now I do!