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FAILURE TO ATTEND PIP TELEPHONE ASSESSMENT
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 Touch base.
When telephone assessments were introduced for PIP last March, the DWP said it would not to take any action against claimants who did not attend a scheduled assessment.
However, from the week commencing 14 December the DWP have warned 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.
But 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 member 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!”
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 . . .”
These are both claimants who, under the new procedures, would have faced the possibility of their claim being ended through absolutely no fault of their own.
There is detailed advice in our PIP claims guide on how to prepare for a telephone assessment, including how to ensure the assessor’s call isn’t blocked, 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.
We have updated our PIP claims guide to warn about the change in DWP policy.
We strongly advise anyone with an upcoming PIP assessment to be fully prepared for the possibility that they may not get called, but still be blamed for having failed to attend their assessment.
My advice is: If this happens to you, then I suggest that you look through you telephone logs to check if the DWP health professional has actually made the call they claim to have. To do this just got to your telephone providers website, and log into your account. You will find all calls logged in there. Use this as evidence. when challenging DWP that no such call was made from them.
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