Benefits and Work has heard from a number of members in recent weeks who have been subject to a second PIP assessment before a decision is made on their claim because there was a problem with the first report.
One member had a two hour assessment on Christmas Eve. Then, in January they were contacted by Capita and told that the assessment was incomplete and that they would be sending someone else round to finish it.
Capita refused to say what information was missing and would not provide a copy of the report until it was complete.
Our member told us:
“This has left me feeling very anxious. All they would say is that they needed further information as the last assessment was incomplete. I'm confused. I feel that they want to trip me up even though I was completely truthful about my conditions in the last assessment.”
In another case our member had almost completed their assessment when it was suddenly stopped and our member was told they would have to return for a complete new assessment. The only reason they were given was that the assessment should have been done by a physiotherapist instead of a nurse.
One member took their son for a PIP assessment which lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. However, our member was then told that the assessor had not filed the report so they would have to return for a new assessment.
The new assessor took 1 hour and 30 minutes. The assessor claimed that she had the original report on screen and would take information from that, but she did not actually do so. As a result our member did not give some of the information that had been covered in the first report.
Our member said:
“I was too worried at the time to complain but I did contact my MP.”
Another member was contacted after their assessment in December and told that she would have to attend a second assessment in February before a decision on her claim could be made. When our member asked why:
“I was told it was to do a more robust assessment and that if I didn’t attend they would refuse my claim.”
Our member is very anxious about the repeat assessment:
“I am in total meltdown mode and if the first one is anything to go by I’m dreading the next one. I was so stressed and anxious I could barely control myself but did manage to answer all the questions they asked.”
One member’s 16 year old child is about to be moved from DLA to PIP. They had an assessment in December but have now been asked to attend a second one before a decision is made.
Our member commented:
“So I guess we just go to the 2nd assessment and do it all again then? Just what a overly anxious child wants eh!!”
One of our members had their PIP assessment in December as part of the process of moving from an indefinite DLA award. However, in January they were contacted by Capita who said that the DWP had requested further information and they would have to have a further assessment. Capita have not said what further information is needed or why it can’t be collected by phone.
Our member says:
“I am sick with worry I was already suffering with even more anxiety than usual due to going through this process.”
The PIP assessment process is enormously stressful for many claimants. To have to go through it twice with no adequate explanation as to why seems unfair and unreasonable. At the very least, claimants should receive a letter of apology and an explanation of why a telephone conversation would not be sufficient to put matters right.
Please consider complaining to your MP if this happens to you.
We’d be interested to hear from anyone else who has been forced to attend two assessments, please comment below.