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The Scottish Case

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Mike Hughes
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Senior Welfare Rights Officer (Take-Up), Salford WRS.

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ClairemHodgson - 12 March 2019 02:22 PM

and of course “the stairs are not for clients” falls foul of the need to make reasonable adjustments (for those who couldn’t climb them) and narrow stairs OR lift wouldn’t help the claustrophobic

Indeed, local office has a reputation for running this “stairs not for you” line and I’m dying for a case where it really mattered.

     
ClairemHodgson
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Solicitor, SC Law, Harrow

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Mike Hughes - 12 March 2019 02:24 PM
ClairemHodgson - 12 March 2019 02:22 PM

and of course “the stairs are not for clients” falls foul of the need to make reasonable adjustments (for those who couldn’t climb them) and narrow stairs OR lift wouldn’t help the claustrophobic

Indeed, local office has a reputation for running this “stairs not for you” line and I’m dying for a case where it really mattered.

doh!. neither of us noticed i should have typed “lift not for you”

     
MM1235
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Advisory Team, Money Matters, Glasgow

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The CASA - 12 March 2019 12:07 PM

Sorry for the delay in replying, I have been on holiday.A claimant in Lanarkshire lost his PIP after an assessment. He requested the AR. However, two reports were included, both in respect of the assessment. However, one report scored him 0 points, the other 8 points.
Marion Fellows, his MP has raised this in Parliament. To date the DWP has prevaricated. The DWP blame IAS with IAS blaming the DWP.
Obviously, nefarious activity by one of the parties has taken place. I believe this is not a one off. but which one?
Also, I have flimsy evidence that parts of AR are being amended. However, I cannot narrow this down to the guilty party IAS or the DWP. If you can anonymise the section in the AR of your clients, which refers to the MSE/MSO, please scan them in and pm them to me. I intend to publsih the results of this research on Rightsnet.

Please note: I am only interested in the page in the AR, which refers to the MSE, especially for clients who allege no MSE took place for whatever reason.

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This is interesting. I too have a Scottish case where there are/were 2 PIP assessments. Only the second appeared in the papers and was used to justify refusal. There had been an assessment a month previously, as evidenced by an appointment letter and expenses payment, and the claimant attended with a family member for support. Claimant says the first assessment took longer than he second and the HCP was pleasant etc. whereas the second was not (and on his report made a couple of questionable comments). He asked at the second why he was being called back and was told that it was because they needed “more information”.

The tribunal judge reluctantly agreed to adjourn with a direction that the DWP prodi=uce a copy of the earlier report, or information, but nit before he said that the reason for failing to produce it would be that the report had been “invalidated” by the assessment provider and that in such a case the DWP would not have access to the report, nor to information as to why it had been “invalidated”. I telepgoned the DWP contact centre annd asked about the earlier report. They had no record.

     
MM1235
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Advisory Team, Money Matters, Glasgow

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Update to my March post.

Our appeal was adjourned because the claimant had proof (in the form of appointment letters and expenses claim) of an assessment shortly before the one produced by the DWP. The client tells me he has now received a letter from PIP saying that there is no record of that assessment ...

Spooky.
But not funny because client says (a) the first/missing assessor was pleasant, interested and (b) he feels he is being called a liar.

     
Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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I had one of these; two assessments for a decision.

I, too, demanded a copy of the absent report but it wasn’t forthcoming. Didn’t pursue the issue at Tribunal as it was a strong case on the facts as they stood so it would have just been muddying the water.

edit: interestingly we’re using the other DA provider; that’d indicate to me that there’s soemthing going on at DWP level.

      [ Edited: 4 Apr 2019 at 04:58 pm by Dan Manville ]
Brian JB
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Advisor, Wirral Welfare Rights Unit, Birkenhead

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In a similar case I dealt with earlier this year, the first report was said to have failed quality standards by IAS internal review before it had been sent to DWP. Therefore, DWP had no input at all as to whether there should, or should not, be a further report. Following what is said above, the client felt that the first HCP was more empathetic than the second one, but it is possible of course that instances where the second assessment is more favourable than the first aren’t brought to our attention, because the client is happy with the outcome.