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TOPIC: Face to face assessment

Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195078

Hello I'd be grateful for some advice please.
I'm 62 & been called for a Face to face assessment towards the end of August. I'm very anxious...as I imagine are alot of people ...as 3years ago when I migrated fron Incapacity Benefit to ESA support group, using the guides and pretty much similar information /conditions(although have deteriorated) was fortunate & not called for an assessment ....guess I'm thinking why now..'.though there's probably no rhyme nor reason?
I had to reschedule my appointment..(.should have considered the panic attacks) because i'd already a hospital appointment on the same morning. I understad they won't reschedule again however, as the time approaches, the panic sets in and I never go near noisy places let alone across a city centre to the other side ( where the assessment centre is) with or without someone as would likely trigger a panic attack. Can I ask for a home visit? Is this advisable? If so would it be best coming from my GP?
I do have questions for another time and would I ask under this thread or start a new one?

Thanks very much

Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195092


Maximus, the new Assessment Provider for ESA, seem to be doing face to face assessments where ATOS did not.

To have any chance of a home assessment you will need your GP to write to Maximus explaining why you cannot attend at their offices.

As you have already rearranged one appointment you must wait for Maximus to change the appointment to a home, if they do, this also means that you must source any letter from your GP as quickly as possible to give Maximus time to look at it.


Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195134

Thank you Gordon.
May I just double check? Do I now ask my GP to write to Maximus as you suggest then wait for them to respond to me saying yes or no and if yes, they will say when they want to see me? I don't understand the bit about sourcing a letter from my GP as quickly as possible etc?

Has anyone had experience of a home visit and is there advice anywhere on how best to prepare? Apart from the panic aspect of going into a busy place plus the assessment....it also feels that if I'm forced to go, they will conclude that i can do this sort of activity when it's something that I don't do because of the potential consequences. I have occasionally made it to the ouskirts where the hospital but never any further in years.
I cannot see my GP because she is booked weeks ahead and so booked in with another GP tn the meantime for other issues and will ask for their advice...although I could write a letter to her at the surgery. Would she write to The Centre fo Health and Disability Assessments Bristol, which is the address on my appointment letter?
It's helpful to know that it's more prevalent with Maximus....though would rather it wasn't!!

Thanks very much for your help Gordon.

Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195153

Hi Sue,

The claimant is allowed only 1 reschedule of an assessment, otherwise there is a very high chance that the file will be returned to DWP and the claim closed. You would be able to appeal this on the basis of 'reasonable grounds' for the cancellation but, even if DWP agree, it would likely be a long process.

So, in order got this to be sorted, you need to get a GP letter to Maximus before they reschedule your appointment.

Yes, send it to the address at the top of the appointment letter. It needs to clearly explain why you are unable to attend an assessment centre.

A home visit will follow the same format as an assessment at any other venue. You don't have to do anything special to prepare - you don't even have to get out of bed if you would not usually have done so. It is certainly worth having someone else with you for moral support. The assessor has no rights over and above any other visitor to your home. They do not have the right to 'snoop' through your home, nor have we heard of anyone wanting to do so.

Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195206

Hello Mrs Hurtyback and Gordon
Thank you for the information...I was unaware of this. Unfortunately the woman rescheduled the appointment there and then on the phone and I received the letter the next day so i guess i'm now unable to ask for a home visit?
i realise I need to pause a bit more rather than be over anxious about doing the 'right' thing...it all feels intimidating and they have been very curt and officious each time.

If I now have to travel across the city, i'll need to take a friend and if they cannot drive do I ask for a taxi...it'll cost a fortune...I live rurally and so public transport's not a possibility and I'd panic. i can drive but not into the city. Any advice please?
i'm now going to be doing something I think i said i could not do on my ESA 50 from for fear of prompting a panic attack....I just thought i had no choice when I rescheduled.

Finally, my GP and a counsellor sent letters of support when I submitted my ESA50 form, is this sufficient or do need to ask for additional letters to take with me? At the time, because I was threatened with homelessness....i've now found somewhere to live...there was alot of emphasis on my mental state then and perhaps not every other health detail. I could take the letters written from 3 years ago too just in case when last awarded ESA or shall I just let my GP know I've been called incase they contact her....I cannot get to see her before my assessment in two weeks as she was booked up a month ahead though I'm going to see another GP tomorrow.

Thank you very much

Face to face assessment 10 months 1 week ago #195208


It is not to late to get a home assessment, although you can only rearrange one appointment the Maximus can still change the appointment to a home assessment if they want to.

You need a letter that explicitly states why you cannot travel to Maximus's offices, I doubt a letter of support says this.

Moderators: bro58GordonMrs HurtybackIzzy1010LisaJenny Clarke