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Thread: So I'm being sent for another PIP medical assessment

  1. #11
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    West Cumbria (Lake District)
    I don't think that they would accept over 90 minutes travel as 'good reason' for cancelling or not attending.

    The 90 minutes is just guidance not law. They would ask why you didn't ring to make other arrangements, or arrange a taxi and/or repayment of taxi fares.

    If you have a refusal decision and have to put in an MR/appeal then you could also make a new claim at the same time. (Others on here have in the past).
    But there are a few problems and risks with doing this. (Again as others have found).

    Firstly -
    You would have 2 claims 'active'.
    So 2 lots of letters turning up just saying 'your PIP claim'. It is very easy to get mixed up with which claim the letter is refering to.
    Is this letter about the old claim and appeal, or is it the new claim?
    And of course the same applies at their end, if you send them something then how are they to know if it's for the old claim or the new one?

    Secondly -
    Making a new claim means that any appeal decision on the first claim only applies until the new claim decision is made. (Even if the 'old' appeal is heard after the 'new' decision).
    So the appeal becomes only about backpayment for the first claim.
    You could end up with the appeal awarding PIP but the new decision denying it again.

    If the new decision is made before the old appeal is made then you could end up in the situation of having two different MR/appeals going on at the same time.
    Even more confusing with keeping all the paperwork seperate and knowing which appeal is being talked about at any time.

    You might think that this is hypothetical and it is unlikely to happen, but-
    This has happened to at least one member here (I think it was ESA but it's the same for PIP), he got refused on a claim, appealed and made a new claim at the same time.
    He also got refused on the new claim, but then later won the old appeal - so only got a backpayment for the first claim until the time of the new decision; with no ongoing award.
    (and it was very confusing trying to sort out what was going on everytime he got another letter).

    So yes, you can make a new claim whilst appealing the old one, but it's not realy something that I would recommend.
    It does give a flying start on a new claim if you expect your appeal to fail, but the issues I give above can make it a risky thing to do
    Last edited by nukecad; 12-13-2017 at 04:30 PM.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by ethite View Post

    So I'm 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.
    I was asked to attend a face to face. I am definetely unable to attend and asked for a home visit. I was told I needed to provide a doctor's letter. Fortunately I only had to ring the surgery for this and my mum picked it up for me on the same day.
    I don't know the policy on this but would yours not do one without an appointment?

  3. #13
    Well, I'm not sure if I did the right thing, but this is how it went

    I told the call handler I wanted to cancel the appointment and set another, because I wanted to get a doctor's letter, so I could get a home visit. Also because it wasn't the time of day I'd requested.

    He said if I wanted a home visit, I'd have to answer a questionnaire over the phone, and after they'd assess my needs and maybe talk to my doctor and then decide. He told me that if I set a date for second appointment, I'd HAVE to attend it, or that was it, PIP cancelled.

    I opted not to believe this and set a date in January instead, with an eye to cancelling when I get the doctor's letter...

    It was a tough decision, I was getting put on the spot, and I didn't know if what I was being told was 100% correct. Unfortunately my decision making when I need to make a quick decision isn't always the best...

    The reasons I decided to go against what I was being told were:

    a) I was already feeling crappy, and didn't feel like answering a lot of questions over the phone. I generally hate doing anything over the phone, anyway. I felt I could make a better case by letter
    b) I felt like I was being put on the spot and was being pressured into something. It didn't seem fair to be given this, more or less, ultimatum
    c) I thought if I agreed, I was giving them full control of the outcome, they might not go to my doctor, or might ask her the questions that would suit them, not me, so they could refuse me.

    So, have I screwed up, or did I do the right thing?

    P.S. Thanks for those replies. For some reason I didn't see them to now. Think it was because they were on the 2nd page. @Nukecad, yes, looks complicated, I think I like the idea that them treating me harshly gives them even more work to do with a another claim, though , and I like to show I'm not giving up, ever (or at least until I'm well). @jjezebel37, you're lucky, my doctor's is an absolute shambles at present, way too many patients for the doctors there is, and the office staff are a shambles as well, can't get through for nearly 10 minutes on the phone, screwed up prescriptions, impossible to get an appointment, etc. I haven't explored the idea of just phoning up for a letter, though, I was really wanting to see my GP first, though, but it's looking like an option I should explore with the limited time available.
    Last edited by ethite; 12-21-2017 at 02:51 AM.

  4. #14
    I posted my doctors letter via recorded delivery on the 12th December and it still hasn't been looked at by Capita.
    Im told that they have to make a decision on whether they are giving me a home visit or not.
    Seems that my GPs word isn't enough!

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by jjezebel37 View Post
    I posted my doctors letter via recorded delivery on the 12th December and it still hasn't been looked at by Capita.
    Im told that they have to make a decision on whether they are giving me a home visit or not.
    Seems that my GPs word isn't enough!
    How did you find out hadn't been looked at, yet, did they tell you over the phone?

  6. #16
    Well, here's an update.

    I should have the letter early next week, and plan to post it immediately I get hold of it. I will send it some sort of recorded delivery. I'll also include my own letter, which will request a cancellation of the second appointment and ask for a home visit. What other steps do you think I should take?

    Thanks for any help.

  7. #17
    Ok, just thought I'd give this a little bump, as I'm posting today, and I know the forum's been semi-sleeping over the holidays.

    Although I find myself getting into slightly ridiculous debates, like whether I should be putting "I'm writing to tell you to cancel my appointment" or "I'm writing to request you cancel my appointment"

    Should I be taking any other steps, other than posting the cancellation request letter and doctor's letter?


  8. #18
    I would telephone to cancel the appointment and tell them you're following up in writing with a Doctor's letter. Otherwise, you run the risk that the letter won't be seen in time and being penalised for not turning up to the appointment.

  9. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    You must ring and let then cancel the appointment, They may well want to make a new appointment so you should be prepared and have any dates you cannot attend at hand
    Anything expressed is my opinion only and is offered in good faith. It is either from my own experiance or what I have learned on my journey. Take it for what it is or leave it alone. With best wishes D.

  10. #20
    Thanks for the replies.

    Well, it's posted, so I'll ring up as well to tell them I've posted it. It will be my second cancellation, so they might try and penalise me anyway. Also, they have to sign for it, so they won't be able to deny they didn't get it on time. I guess they might also try and insist I go when I ring, and all doom will come down on me if I don't, but I'll stand firm. Generally hate phoning them up, though.

    P.S. As the government seems to have bowed to pressure and started providing some 0800 numbers again, I seem to recall reading, is there a cheaper line to right ATOS on, or is it still only the 0300 number?
    Last edited by ethite; 01-02-2018 at 08:49 PM.

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