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TOPIC: PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical"

PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #202996


So I've being sent for another medical assessment after filling in a AR1.

Problem is, is the appointment is about 50 miles / over an hour's travel away, and isn't suitable for me to travel there with my conditions. Not only that, but after requesting an afternoon appointment on the AR1 form, if I was to be sent for a medical, which is very usually the time when I'm at my best, they have again issued me with a morning appointment (I almost suspect they do it deliberately. Do people who request a morning appointment always get issued with afternoon one, perchance?).

Anyway, both issues are just a repeat of what happened 2 years ago, but can't fully remember how things panned out, as I can't find the letter I sent at the time, but I did get them to change it to a home visit with the help of a doctor's letter. Sadly I've only got a few days to change it (they seem to be sending the letters out with shorter notice these days, I think), and I can't get an updated doctor's letter in time - the old one is over 2 years old, which judging by what it says in the AR1, makes it inadmissible as evidence.

I seem to recall getting some advice 2 years ago, that I should be entitled to move it to a home visit because there is some rule that says it's unreasonable to ask a claimant to travel for more than 90 minutes? That there's something in the assessment company's contract that specifies this? I think the assessment was with ATOS that time, but I appear to be with "assessment services" this time (Maximus?), so I'm hoping the contract criteria hasn't changed.

I think I am also allowed one cancellation of an appointment, anyway? But of course complicates things and what's tricky, is what I don't want is just to cancel and move the time of the appointment, but also change it to a home visit.

What I don't want, and I think I'll risk, is them cancelling, but also sending out a new appointment as soon as they can, and before I can get another letter off my doctor supporting a home visit (because of the strains on the NHS, my doctor's hard to see without a long wait), which I suspect they might well try to do. That would mean me having to cancel two appointments before I can present them with the new doctor's letter, which I think would put me at risk of losing my PIP and having to appeal?

Any advice as to what I should put in the letter would be gratefully appreciated. I was wondering with time being short, whether I should also call them? If so, any advice as to what I should say in the phone call would also be appreciated.

Edit: Actually I think I'll need to call them, as they could end up only getting the letter on the day, and quite possibly after the assessment time. How short notice can I leave it before calling them to cancel, based on the reasons above I've specified? (I think I'll maybe send a letter as well, but I think I now need to call, as well)

Sorry if this post's a bit muddled. I'm not having the best mental clarity, today.

Thanks for any help.

PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #202998


Don't write to them, you just risk the letter being late and it allows them to make a new appointment that is still inconvenient for you.

IAS is the new name for ATOS.

You can only move the appointment once, if you fail to attend a second one then your file will be returned to the DWP and it's likely to result in your claim being closed. The appointment being changed to a home assessment would not be a problem as this would be a decision made by IAS.

You are not going to get a home assessment without a new GP letter, they need to explain why you cannot attend at an IAS office, there needs to be no doubt about your inability to attend, so phrases such as "may have problems" or "could..." will not be helpful.

There is still a rule for 90 minutes travel by Public Transport but your post suggests that travel time may not be this long, IAS will have checked this before sending the appointment but there systems do not appear to take the time that the journey needs to be made into account, so there may still be a problem that you can use to your advantage.

Cancel the current appointment the day before by phoning IAS and make a new appointment while you are on the phone, with luck it wil be after Christmas and you will have more time to source a GP letter.


PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #203004

IF they stop your money or award you less points and your money drops alot you ideally want this after Christmas, not before ;) hint hint.

PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #203019

Thanks for the replies, Gordon and Judy.

With regards journey times, I think I was a little sloppy with "over an hour". Entirely by bus, I've checked, most definitely over 90 minutes.

Bus -> train -> Bus. I say factoring in "timetable misalignments" (i.e. having to wait for the various), almost certainly over 90 minutes, too.

I take it it's correct that my GP letter from over 2 years ago is no good because it's not within 2 years?

Do you have a letter template around for a GP letter to guarantee a home visit? I think my GP's letter from 2 years ago was probably robust enough, but if it can be improved... Also, I don't really know last time, if I was permitted a home visit because of my GP letter or the 90 minutes issue. That said, my GP can be a little resistive to me handing her things to copy verbatim, and can end up doing her own modifications, which might dilute, so I might be better just asking her to copy what she did last time. I think she should be fine with copying her own words. Still, I wouldn't mind a template to look at.

So, if say they offer me Christmas Eve or just before, or in the "dead zone" between Christmas and New Year's, do I have any power to refuse and request a January appointment? And if have some power to chose the date, is there a outer limit, like say, 3 weeks ahead, max?

Also, if they offer me a taxi, can I refuse that in favour of a home visit?


PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #203021


I'm afraid we do not have a template letter, it has to be specific to you, your conditions and how they effect you.

The journey time being over 90 minutes does not necessarily mean a home assessment, they may just move you to a closer venue, it is the GP letter that will make the difference.

You can only rearrange the appointment once, however you will have some flexibility in arranging the new appointment if you do it over the phone with your diary in hand, but be aware they will not book more than three weeks in advance and they will not cancel the current appointment without your making a new one, or their generating one themselves.

A home assessment can't be substituted for a taxi.


PIP : So I'm being sent for another "medical" 6 months 1 week ago #203022


Well I guess if I can set it 3 weeks in advance, that will just put me in to January, which should give enough time.
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