To think this is just cruel of ATOS (PIP assessment related)

(101 Posts)
ATOStheCRUEL Mon 07-Nov-16 12:46:27

So, I have to go for a PIP assessment to somewhere 40 miles away. I am blind and severely deaf. I can't get there by myself and I don't have many options for people to come with me.

They sent an appointment for a random day of their choice. I telephoned to change it to a day when my husband could take me. Since I'm deaf, it was quite hard to understand the person I spoke to, but I got it changed.

Now my husband's work can't give him the day off due to client pressures. I telephoned to change the appointment again. The woman I spoke to said that the rule is that you can only change your appointment once. They won't change it again and if I don't attend 'then the decision about whether to award you benefit will be made on that basis' (i.e. they won't give it).

I nearly cried over the phone. She was really unsympathetic and kept saying 'well that's the system'.

Isn't that just cruel? The whole reason I need PIP is because I have very little mobility and can't travel without help. I can't just get a taxi because a taxi driver won't hold my arm and take me into the building and see me into the room with the advisor, and wait outside the door for me and bring me back and see me back into my house. Let alone take me to the toilet if I need it during the several hours.

I am going to have to ask my 80 year old mother to drive up from her house 200 miles away in order to take me to the appointment.

I think the people running ATOS and the politicians aiding and abetting them are wicked.

Trifleorbust Mon 07-Nov-16 12:51:02

I can't help about what to do, but I certainly think trying to get there on your own would be a mistake. They would be likely to use it against you that you could actually get there. Is there a process by which you can request home assessment? I'm sure there is. You could also try their complaints procedure or to speak to her supervisor.

YelloDraw Mon 07-Nov-16 12:51:29

Can you insist on a home visit?

There was a 'help with PIP' thread and I think the lady said you can request a home assessment if you can;t travel. She also said that by making a huge effort to the detriment of your well being will HARM your PIP assessment because they wil be like "yup, arrived by public transport, TICK"

AnchorDownDeepBreath Mon 07-Nov-16 12:53:27

Yeah, you need a home visit. You might need your GP to support your request.

If you go on your own, they'll say you're well enough to not need PIP.

YelloDraw Mon 07-Nov-16 12:53:31

www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/pip/help-with-your-pip-claim/your-assessment/

Changing the venue

If the location of your assessment is more than 90 minutes away by public transport you may be offered an alternative location or home visit.

You might be offered a home visit instead of a having to go to an assessment centre, if your GP normally visits you in your home.

How to ask for an adjustment

To ask for an adjustment, phone the assessment centre using the number on your appointment letter. If you ask for an adjustment and it’s not made, this could be discrimination - contact your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales or in Scotland for more help.

wasonthelist Mon 07-Nov-16 12:58:14

I can't offer any practical help I'm afraid, OP, but I agree it is cruel.

wasonthelist Mon 07-Nov-16 12:59:51

Oh and

I think the people running ATOS and the politicians aiding and abetting them are wicked.

I agree.

Mushypeasandchipstogo Mon 07-Nov-16 13:01:23

They sound awful to me. Just a thought but our village runs a volunteer driver scheme for people just like you. It might be worth phoning your Health centre or CAB to see if something similar is running near to you.

legotits Mon 07-Nov-16 13:03:22

It's designed to fuck you about.

They can answer half of their loaded questions without even speaking to you by assessing how you deal with the process.

Make a GP appointment. Ask for a letter outlining why you can't attend.

It will only kick you up to home visit process but it will be, at least, at home and more comfortable for you.

ATOStheCRUEL Mon 07-Nov-16 13:04:01

They won't make any further changes whatsoever because they have made one change already.

I can't understand the mentality behind this - or rather, I can. It is solely to make it difficult for people who need PIP to claim it.

People with severe disabilities need accommodation. But apparently the law requiring that doesn't apply to ATOS.

They won't let me record the interview either (I can't make notes during it because of my lack of sight). I can only record it if I use specialist equipment which costs a few hundred pounds to buy - and which I would probably not be able to operate anyway. I can't use the recording equipment I have and know how to use and use for other note-taking situations. So I can't make any personal record of the interview - whereas people with sight can.

ATOStheCRUEL Mon 07-Nov-16 13:05:13

My mother is going to come and drive me. I feel awful putting the burden on her.

Ineverpromisedyouarosegarden Mon 07-Nov-16 13:06:00

Contact a charity or citizens advice and see if you can get a volunteer to accompany you.

I would suggest writing to your MP too.

Didijustgetwinkpointshitcanned Mon 07-Nov-16 13:07:42

Do they not have the specialist equipment available themselves? I'm sure I read recently that there was a backlog of people waiting for assessments due to so many wanting to record the appointment and ATOS not having many of the double recorder things. Might be worth chasing that up because that would get your appointment date changed too.

Did you put on the form why you might struggle to attend an appointment and ask for a home visit? There is a section for that towards the end. If you did and they've ignored it, try pointing out that it's not a change, it's a correction to their mistake.

lottieandmia Mon 07-Nov-16 13:07:54

That is disgusting - you are right & they are wicked. They do it on purpose I imagine, so that it's easy to cancel people's claims! I would write to your MP about it personally.

Candlelight123 Mon 07-Nov-16 13:08:33

I can't think of any practical help I'm afraid, but I feel this situation is so unjust you must tell your local MP or try someone who can influence these people in your behalf. The odds are massively stacked against you, you must not travel as all it will prove is that you can do it. Can you tweet your MP maybe??

MarchEliza2 Mon 07-Nov-16 13:12:28

Sorry I have no advice but lots of sympathy. Do write to your MP, what you describe is disgraceful.

legotits Mon 07-Nov-16 13:17:02

I don't know your financial situation, you need to decide if this is possible.

When my relative was summoned she had changed GP and the new GP didn't have very helpful staff. Atos claimed because there was nothing specific in the form from GP she couldn't have a home visit (despite all 3 of the last assessment having home visits because old GP knew the system)
Appointment 1 reschedule to give time for GP letter.
Appointment 2 delayed because GP doesn't volunteer letters to ATOS.
Appointment 3 called on the day to notify she wouldn't/couldn't attend.

An hour after appointment 3 was missed we received a call from the assessment center and the lady appeared to have more scope to delay change or adjust appointment.

We were fully prepared for benefit to stop and have to appeal.

WankingMonkey Mon 07-Nov-16 13:17:33

I had this with a friends ESA 'assessment' a few years back. She had to rearrange due to being in hospital. Next date came, she was rushed into A&E. She managed to get stable a few hours before the appointment but was being kept in for observation. Called them and was told you can only change an appointment once and if she didn't turn up it was an automatic 'fail'. They went through with it too and she had to appeal. Fucking bastards they are. Sorry you are having to deal with them.

lottieandmia Mon 07-Nov-16 13:20:59

WankingMonkey shock that is shocking. I have no words.

At least I know what's in store for me when my daughter turns 16!

lightgreenglass Mon 07-Nov-16 13:24:15

I have a deaf blind friend who insisted on home visit backed with up reams of paperwork, it took a while to get sorted but in the end they took her supported evidence and awarded her PIP and she didn't have an assessment or home visit. I would seriously reading them your rights from the Equality Act.

lightgreenglass Mon 07-Nov-16 13:24:29

Seriously be*

NothingIsOK Mon 07-Nov-16 13:40:01

The system is fucked. I second not trying to struggle there on your own though, because they WILL use it against you. The 90 mins travel is classic for ESA WCA meetings as it demonstrates that you are able to do a 90min commute full time.

ATOStheCRUEL Mon 07-Nov-16 13:40:34

I don't want them coming to my home. I spend approximately 95% of my time in my house (not by choice). At least I am safe and in control there. I think having an ATOS person come in here will make me feel invaded. Probably sounds silly, but the world is such a hostile place for me, and I don't want the one place that isn't to be tainted.

I have pretty gold-plated evidence that ATOS already hold - certificate showing I am blind, letters from consultant ophthalmologist and consultant audiologist, letter from my social support worker. I don't even know what more they expect to get from an interview - do they think all these people are lying?

Pineapplemilkshake Mon 07-Nov-16 13:44:04

Ask your GP to ring them to request a home visit if Atos wont agree to you requesting it. I do it quite a lot for patients and have never been turned down. It takes about 2 min on the phone rather than me having to write a letter.

Pineapplemilkshake Mon 07-Nov-16 13:47:51

Sorry cross-posted, I see you don't want them to do a home visit!

A lot of their assessors are self employed GP's who do it on a part time basis alongside their usual work. I did it for 2 years while working as a locum. I promise you not all assessors are bad, though I can certainly understand while it feels that way!

Good luck with getting it sorted flowers

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