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Claimants who fail to attend a PIP telephone assessment will face having their claim ended, in spite of the pandemic, the DWP revealed in its pre-Christmas edition of Touchbase.

When telephone assessments were introduced for PIP last March, the DWP undertook not to take any action against claimants who did not attend a scheduled assessment.

However, from the week commencing 14 December the DWP have said that:

“PIP telephone assessment appointment letters will make it clear that claimants must attend their telephone appointment. FTA [Failure To Attend] action will apply, e.g. benefit may be stopped for those who have been issued with this letter and fail to attend without good reason.”

The DWP have said that no-one will have their support stopped without being contacted first to ask them to explain why they didn’t attend.

However, if the claimant cannot show a good reason why they didn’t attend, or didn’t take part in, their assessment then their PIP is likely to be stopped.

There is a right of appeal against any such decision.

Worryingly, Benefits and Work has heard from claimants who never received a call from the assessor, in spite of waiting by their telephone at the correct time. In some cases the assessor then claimed that they had repeatedly called the claimant but not received an answer.

For example, one claimant told us:

“Capita did not call. My appointment was at 11.45, I waited and no call was received. I phoned them at 1215hrs and was told that I had failed to attend for my assessment and that they had called 3 times! I was sat with my phone waiting for the call. They then blamed it on Vodafone saying they must have blocked them. I confirmed with Vodafone that no blocks are on my line.”

Another member told us:

“I received my letter on Thursday 4th June, informing me of an appointment on Monday 8th June. I didn’t receive my call at the scheduled time, so called the help centre 10 minutes after my appointment should have started. The person I spoke to advised that I was called 3 times on Friday 5th June as a prep call but that I didn’t answer. There is no notification in the letter that this would take place and I explained that I don’t answer calls from unknown/withheld numbers unless I am expecting such a call and if they had informed me in the letter to expect a prep call, then I would have answered.”

Yet another member told us:

“Appointment at 11.45am. Called capita at 12.05 an was told assessor had rang 3 times and no answer, no missed calls on my phone. I didn’t receive any and was told assessor no wrote no show, made complaint to customer services as to what happened and why recorded as a no show.”

There is detailed advice in our PIP claims guide on how to prepare for a telephone assessment, including what action to take if the call doesn’t arrive and how to obtain evidence from Capita and IAS (Atos) that will help to show whether any calls were actually made.

You can view the 18 December edition of Touchbase here

Comments  

#7 Sheer2002 2021-06-30 11:02
Hi I had a call off pip, saying I was to have a telephone assessment, and they would text me when it was, I am really worried as I have PTSD, panic disorder, anxiety, and I am really stressing about it.
I am a bit surprised I thought I wouldn't have to have another assessment as it's a review..
I sent off every medical record I had, as I have degenerative discs in back, compressed nerves, causing weakness in left leg, going to S1, PTSD, panic disorder, CKD with post op nephrectomy problems list kidney to cancer, also chronic anxiety, also feet problems arthritis on both feet causing chronic pain, waiting for orthopaedic app and PMR causing joint pain, I sent proof of therapy counseling, go letters pain clinic classes, and podiatry I also sent diary's letters off family members loads of stuff so worried now my anxiety is through the roof worrying about it, as I read some horror stories, it's making me I'll worrying about it any advice please, thanks
+1 #6 Kri 2021-01-17 19:56
What if due timparement caused mental health conditions - aspersgers/auti sm, PTSD or C-PTSD etc is unable to use the phone or attend face to face no matter how important it is?

Is it not a case of Check & Mate against the DWP as if they stopped the claim or payment they them breach the EQUALITY ACT 2010 & render themselves liable to pay compensation to the claiment?
#5 denby 2021-01-16 21:19
Paul you have posted your question in 'news'. As far as I know [I am not a mod just another member] there are only phone calls without video used for assessments at the moment. Any other questions you are best off posting them in the forum not the news. Best wishes, Denby
#4 paul 2021-01-16 19:20
Can anyone tell me if it is video call or is it just standard car that pip capital call you on as letter bit confusing, Paul
+4 #3 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2021-01-11 15:40
Here we again, nothing changed for us all in 2021. More misery ahead. Watch the suicide rate go up as a result of callousness towards the claimants.

So if a claimant is on the day of his/her assessment (phone call) is very unwell. Has the claimant a right to simply either call the assessment centre (capita) or and (dwp) and say they are to unfit to talk to anyone.

All I can see is more pressure, and stress being place on claimants to cut down on the benefit budget, as this pandemic has cost the Tories a few hundred billion quid or is it nigh on a trillion.

And the nasty, cruel, assessors will simply cash in on the sick disabled peoples misfortune.
+2 #2 lesley 2021-01-11 15:15
Cruel! I bet that they don't get their salaries stopped for not calling up the claimant on time.
+1 #1 denby 2021-01-08 20:58
There will be more suicides. People who are fragile cannot be expected to cope with pressure like this.
DWP also are wrong to assume every claimant with genuine need can read, [to understand their letters] write [to keep reminders] and knows what day it is.
DWP have already caused one suicide attempt, mercifully 'unsuccessful' simply by continuing to send letters to a claimant instead of to his advocate.

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