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PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160738

Hello to all who run this very helpful website as without it I truly believe we would have given up along time ago...we are still stressed out and exhausted as what seems to be the never ending maze of benefit changes and of form filling and Atos assessments. Just when you get through one lot of changes another lot seems to begin, but Thank you for remaining with us and providing guidance and help. I need help again :(

My partner has a long term chronic illness related to heart disease and diabetes and a number of complications related to those conditions.. Aprox 2yrs ago his DLA was re-assessed again and he was left on High rate mobility and Care indefinitely, he also went through the changes long -term incapacity benefit to ESA. In March this year he received another letter DLA letter repeating the same but with a reference saying Uprating/PIP, So we thought with the amount of forms we had done, he would just be uprated to equivalent PIP. How wrong, a few weeks later a letter arrived advising he had to make his claim for PIP. All very confusing as apparently told by DWP that it is no such thing as indefinite and if we don't make a claim for PIP the DLA benefit would just stop.
We completed the form with the help of the guides on here and now been asked to attend a Atos Assessment. The thing we need to know is - The first Atos appointment was miles away for 9.am in morning, even a healthy person would need to leave around 7.30am. We re-arranged based on my partners conditions/medications and questioned why we could not attend the local centre. Atos re-arranged to local centre for next week and now counted against us surely that is not far? The next problem we now have is my partner was told yesterday by his hospital consultant that he is having a serious re-action to one of his insulin pens, he has three different types of pens, he is not very well at all with the symptoms and defiantly not up to Atos assessment, also his new insulin is time -sensitive beginning on Monday...but we are fearful of cancelling the appointment on Monday in case his Benefit money is suspended/ends. But also fearful of new re-actions during the change over to the new one... What are our options of re-arranging, or what happens if anything is wrong on the day of the Atos appointment and my partner is to ill to attend due to the new changes he has to introduce on the same day and we have no idea how he will be, but currently he is already unwell and with high blood pressure also.

Look forward to hearing from you thankyou

PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160748

  • Gordon
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This is a difficult situation, you have used his one no fault cancellation to change the original appointment, I'm afraid, missing a second could lead to his PIP claim being closed for failing to attend and as a consequence, his DLA claim as well.

Your difficulty is obviously being unable to pre-empt this situation.

Is his GP involved in his treatment and would they be prepared to issue a Fit Note on Monday if necessary?

If he is unable to attend on Monday then in addition to contacting ATOS, phone the DWP and inform them of the situation, you need to head of his file being returned to the DWP as a no-show. Unfortunately Monday is the busiest day for the DWP call centres, so you will need to phone as soon as they open.

PIP Helpline :

Telephone: 0345 850 3322
Textphone: 0345 601 6677
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

That's really all you can do until you find out how they are going to handle the situation.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160798

Hi Gordon

Thank you for all the helpful advise, it is very stressful enough with the medical situation as it effects enzymes in my partners body and he has developed painful stomach lumps,...amongst other symptoms...So we are both fearful for Monday... I did try two numbers on Friday on the letters sent, but got nowhere after around 25 mins on each. I did hope to get through and speak to a Supervisor or decision maker!

I didn't think of a fitnote for Monday but could try if my partner is having difficulties or any difficult reactions to the start of the new treatment am Monday..

I have contacted a local MP on the 2nd June re the situation and asking for help over the first appointment situation and how this now counted against us. But have heard nothing. I have not had chance to update the local MP re the current situation as my partner as not been well, but hopefully will do latter today via email So they have that for tomorrow just in case as I can honestly say I have no idea what will happen tomorrow concerning my partner and trying to get him there and through the Atos Assessment.

Gordon your message also reminds me to keep informing DWP of what has happened recently with my partner as after Friday trying to get through as left feeling stressed out and what's the point. But no one could have predicted my partner would have been so poorly with this reaction to one of the newer treatments he is under going for long term insulin dependent diabetics so I know I must keep trying to get through on Monday morning. I will also take the new medication with us on Monday and appointment letter he attended Thursday and advice we will send in further confirmation letter from the consultant.

I will let you know how it goes thankyou
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gordon

PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160845

Hi Gordon

Well it was my biggest fear today I wont go into detail with my partners symptoms but he was to unwell to make thee appointment. I rang DWP for advice and asked to speak to Decision Maker re my partners severe diagnosed health changes and he was to unwell to attend the Atos Assessment today, there was no way I could get him well enough for 1pm. I also asked could I speak with the decision maker due to the diagnosed changes in his chronic health conditions. I was told I could not speak to a decision maker or a Supervisor. I was then told we had re-arranged one appointment and had to ring Atos re todays appointment. Atos as now said they are returning his file back to the decision maker as we re-arranged one and not attended today.

I think I read somewhere on the Benefit and Work website that it is being looked at how many people are currently being given appointments where the claimant needs to travel out of their own town for assessment, but I can not find it again on the website to add ours. Anyway what I have also found out through our own recent situation and my own opinion is that I believe Atos and DWP are breaking the law, this is because they ask you to complete page 36 of the PIP Form which also includes travelling times and being specific re your needs if requested to attend a face to face assessment. On our completed PIP form we completed page 36 as requested explaining current difficulties re appointment times etc.,., When I discussed this today with Atos Advisor I also raised the point that we completed information on page 36 of the PIP Form which covers any help you require with face to face assessment and it does prompt you to be specific and also mentions travelling. Therefore taking into account the information submitted how could it be far to allocate a first appointment so far away and for 9 am in a morning and now that was now being counted against us. I was shocked when told by the Atos Advisor that all the appointments are computer generated and that they are allocated up to one and half hours away from a persons home address. When I complained and asked what is the point of completing page 36 on the PIP Form and Atos appointment being allocated without that information being taken into account or even seen or read, the advisor could only repeat appointments are computer generated. Surely that DWP and ATOS system is totally unfair, unlawful and dangerous especially taking into account peoples various disability's and why have page 36 in the PIP Form if that information is not handled fairly and within the law.

It also leaves me with a lot of suspicion if a person is only allowed to re-arrange one appointment. :(

I am in the process of updating the MP and also requesting a factual health report and supporting medical letter and fit not from my partners consultant.

We are really fearful of what happens next, but will pursue the MP and also try to get booked in with the GP CAB Outreach scheme.


PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160856

  • Gordon
  • Away
  • Posts: 49398

I'm sorry to hear that your husband was not well today.

Did you contact his GP about his health, having a doctor confirm that he was not well enough to travel will provide considerable support to your situation.

I would expect the DWP to contact you about the failure to attend, you may be able to pre-empt this with a Fit Note or letter from his GP.

I think you will struggle to show that ATOS have acted illegally, the legislation does not prescribe the manner in which appointments must be offered, although DWP guidance does restrict appointments to 90 minutes travel each way, this gives them considerable leeway.

It is possible that you would have a case under the Equality Act, but this would be a separate process from your explaining the issue to the DWP and is very unlikely to be resolved within the timescales that you need it to be for the DWP.

Chasing your MP is undoubtedly the most important thing you can do at the moment.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

PIP Medical Assessment 5 years 7 months ago #160868

Hi Gordon

Thank your for your reply. I am updating the MP all the information will be handed in at the local office tomorrow. I hope by showing this to the MP as this is happening hopefully will help not only for my partner but for others.

I will make a doctors appointment in the morning for my partner and if he is unable to get to the surgery I will request home visit.

It is still upsetting to learn about the 90 min travelling time especially taking into account peoples disabilities and illnesses and surely peoples home town would be first choice appointments. Maybe they should introduce a tick box on the form of those willing or able to travel further for assessments.

I feel sure I will require further support and advice when we here back from DWP. But for now I can only hope the MP gets involved as the Scottish MP`s. Interesting news on Scotland.

:( :)
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