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assessor didn't turn up for home assessment/on phone say I wasn't there

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brushcolours
brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
Hello, I was a member before but couldn't login, so have made this account ... a new hello to everyone, and I share the current concerns I can see everyone having about benefit changes. Good that there's a community and organisations that DO care about the disabled, and who are voicing the clear need to treat ill people with decency and compassion. 99.9% of us would love to be well and take part in life and work, and that's obvious to any reasonable human.

Just wanted to say that 1st, as it's awful seeing the upset being caused by what the government and media are saying.

Today an assessor was due 9-10am. I waited until mid afternoon before calling the advisory service number on the letter. They said the doctor had been and not been able to get a reply. I said there's a note on the door saying door's open/just walk in  ... I had the chair set up for the assessor and couldn't get past it on crutches. I said the dpd man had walked in fine an hour before me doing this phone call. The electricity meter reader had come in with no issues earlier on too, but I forgot to say that, with them saying they'd refer things on, including saying they couldn't get a response from me. 

I'd pulled out all the stops to prepare, which took me the full 5 weeks (ddnos as well as chronic pain/disabilities) including helpful notes (for me and the assessor) as speaking about things is very hard otherwise.

He also said, when I asked 'what now?', that they send letters out with 7 days notice or do a phone call. Didn't sound very definite.

I'm ESA support group and highest level of PIP long term, and had been surprised to get the letter, as last home assessment was roughly 5+ years ago.

With reading about benefit changes and then having this experience today, am concerned they may try to say I was uncooperative and just stop ESA.

Comments

  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,318 Disability Gamechanger
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    I'd advise you to be one step ahead of them and ring ESA tomorrow morning and tell them exactly what's happened. If they return your file with "fail to attend" then at least you have a start. If this does happen they would contact you first anyway for you to give your reasons why you didn't attend. ( I know it wasn't your fault) 

    I'm surprised they agreed to the home assessment because these were stopped back in 2020 and telephone assessments replaced them. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Hello @poppy123456 and thank you for your response. Very stressful to need to call the ESA, but will do it tomorrow. Sincerely hoping it doesn't go as far as having to try to find the electricity meter reader and ask dpd also to provide proof about the note on the door and easily gaining entry. I'm housebound; there's nowhere else I'd be but at home, so putting 'failed to attend' would be very deliberate malice at work, for sure. Had been puzzled why the home assessment came up; hopefully not with the aim of doing this and cutting off ESA.

    It's possible there was a note in my past records that I'm not great on the phone, as I used to say it often and request not having telephone assessments. Not sure.

    If I can just check I have the right number 1st ... every search result is showing a different number, but the one I've seen come up nearer to the top is 0800 328 5644?
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    I've just seen the pinned post with the ESA number ... 0800 055 6688. Thanks for the post being there. Very helpful.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,318 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 15
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    I've just seen the pinned post with the ESA number ... 0800 055 6688. Thanks for the post being there. Very helpful.
    I just checked that phone number and it's not correct because it's the new claims number. The number you need to ring is 0800 169 0310

    Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Income Support, Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

    Telephone: 0800 169 0310 
    Textphone: 0800 169 0314 
    Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
    British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service if you’re on a computer - find out how to use the service on mobile or tablet
    Welsh language: 0800 169 0207

    Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Thanks so much @poppy123456. :-) Just woken up, so will alter notes now, ready for making the call.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Oops just noticed your note about not tagging you. Very sorry.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    I've just made the call, which didn't go well ... the horrible bot process at the start decided to choose 'fit note' when I spoke 'home assessment' into phone. After 10 minutes, advisor answered. Told him what happened yesterday. He first said there's no record of an assessment having been arranged, made some odd comment about was I sure it wasn't a DLA assessment, or, on another occasion, that surely it was for PIP. I read the letter I'd received on 5th april about the appointment back to him. He wanted to hear it again. He then said putting me through to somewhere so another appointment for home assessment can be made ... suddenly it's a CAB bot saying about helping me to claim UB! I cut the call. Have recording of it. Got a horrible feeling this advisor may have just cut off ESA and actioned UB.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,782 Scope online community team
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    Hey there @brushcolours and welcome back to the community! 

    I can see Poppy has been helping you out here, but I wanted to stop in and say a quick hi. :) Sorry to hear that call didn't quite go to plan, sometimes it's really down to the luck of the draw if you get a helpful advisor or not. Do you think you'd be able to give them another call tomorrow and ty again?
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Hello Albus_Scope and thank you very much for your welcome! :smile:
    Great suggestion, but tbh I'm not up to it. I recorded the call today, so have proof that I called and explained, including the surreal outcome, so I'll let that stand for now and cross my fingers that ESA continues. On the other hand, IF a new home assessment letter appears ... and they attend! ... yuk but at least that'll get it over with, and hopefully no bad outcomes. 
    Housing association have just stopped the assisted gardening service, and am having problems finding a gardener, plus rubbish collection goes to fortnightly in 2 weeks. A lot going on, which I'm sure all of us are finding hard to deal with, so will need to get on with those things and keep on an even keel as much as possible.
  • Albus_Scope
    Albus_Scope Posts: 4,782 Scope online community team
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    Not a problem at all @brushcolours baby steps is the way to go! You did great for calling them already, so allow yourself a bit of a rest. If the home assessment happens, at least it'll be out of the way and one less thing to worry about, even if it's not the most fun ever. ;)
    Albus (he/him)

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
    Opinions expressed are solely my own.
    Neurodivergent.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Thank you @Albus_Scope Very kind. Have a good evening too.  :smile:
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,318 Disability Gamechanger
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    suddenly it's a CAB bot saying about helping me to claim UB! 
    UB? do you mean UC? (Universal Credit) CAB? as in citizens advice? Very strange how someone from ESA call centre would put you through to the CA help to claim helpline. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Thanks for your response Poppy, and, oops, yes, meant UC. I agree it was very strange that he put me through to the CAB helpline. I've got the recording and can share it privately, but there's a swear word warning for the very end of the audio, eek. I don't know why I'm shocked at the continued malice of the dwp, but this guy was definitely carrying the torch ... that's what I put it down to, that and them not liking that my explanation clearly shows nobody tried to attend the home assessment.
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Community member Posts: 55,318 Disability Gamechanger
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    They are not DWP staff, they are call centre staff and mostly haven't got a single clue about benefits other than to read from a screen in front of them. It's fine, I don't need to hear the recording.

    Hopefully, you're aware that you can't automatically be placed onto UC and the only way to claim it is to do that yourself. Yes, there's a helpline for that but they are there to talk you through that process. They would not physically claim it for you. 
    I would appreciate it if members wouldn't tag me please. I have all notifcations turned off and wouldn't want a member thinking i'm being rude by not replying.
    If i see a question that i know the answer to i will try my best to help.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Thanks, Poppy, but tbh I've been entirely out of the loop about benefits, since about 2020 and probably a couple of years earlier (chronic pain and dissociation so much worse unless step back and keep things as simple as possible myself); just this week learnt about changes government proposing, and have not looked into UC yet.
    I'm a bit confused as to what to do now about getting ahead of things regarding the health advisory service implying I wasn't at home? I don't actually want to set up another home assessment, incase they do the same again and ESA is removed, but if both the health advisory service and ESA refuse to listen/advise or follow procedure, am not sure what more to do at the moment about the home assessment.
    Am I getting the right impression that deliberate decisions are made and there's no straight answers or recourse? Do most people end up going to the CAB, or have to take their own legal action now? How are people winning their cases? Local support? I don't know of anywhere in Middlesbrough regarding that, having tried a few years ago to find somewhere.
    At this point I have no idea what the health advisory service or ESA have noted down, but am concerned the aim was to remove ESA via not showing up for the appointment then gaslighting any communications. All I know is that I have proof I was there for the appointment and that house was fully accessible, and the recording of the call with the ESA.
    I used to do carework a lot myself, so just a thank you to you, and Adrian, for taking the time to respond. I know we're all dealing with a lot, and I hope not to take up too much time with this.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Sorry, just to add that also recorded the call with the health advisory service.
  • brushcolours
    brushcolours Community member Posts: 13 Connected
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    Sorry again ... Albus, not Adrian ... my apologies.
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