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Home Visit

DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
Husband has just had a letter saying his assessment will be at home..next week.  Great timing the day before Christmas Eve, he is trying to rearrange as we won’t be here as are going to his son’s for Christmas at the weekend.

We were expecting an assessment at the assessment centre like he had last time, so very surprised to say they are doing it at home when there are people crying out for home assessments who really need them, he gets one when he is quite happy to go to the assessment centre!

How on earth do they work these things out?

Replies

  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    @DuffersMum - I believe that a lot depends on how far the assessment centre is.

    If it's a long way then they often send someone out..

    Merry Christmas..

  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    cristobal said:
    @DuffersMum - I believe that a lot depends on how far the assessment centre is.

    If it's a long way then they often send someone out..

    Merry Christmas..

    I went to the assessment centre for my assessment...just seems rather odd to us 🤷🏻‍♀️ They are sending a new date now which should be sometime in January, would have been more than happy to tootle along to the assessment centre as he did 3 years ago, although his conditions are worsened since then so maybe that thought he might struggle 
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing Team, Community Team Posts: 7,951 Scope community team
    I hope you're able to rearrange it @DuffersMum!
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    Scope

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  • woodbinewoodbine Member Posts: 3,008 Disability Gamechanger
    You can change the appointment once and once only, so be aware that if for some reason the new appointment has to be cancelled by your OH it could make problems.
    Merry Christmas
    my advice is given freely and is correct to the best of my knowledge.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Evidence may have been enough to offer the home assessment as this can happen. Home assessments are no different to an assessment centre other than it's in your own home. It doesn't mean anything else other than this.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    edited December 2019
    He rang and explained we would be away and they are sending a new appointment..so no doubt be some time in January now. He advised them of future dates when he has medical appointments etc so it shouldn’t need to be rearranged again 
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,415 Disability Gamechanger
    woodbine said:
    You can change the appointment once and once only, so be aware that if for some reason the new appointment has to be cancelled by your OH it could make problems.
    Merry Christmas
    This is self-perpetuating nonsense so let’s knock it on the head,The HCPs company policy may be that you can only change it once but there’s nothing in law which says that and it’s challengeable using EA 10 and some common sense. My personal record is that I’ve had someone’s appointment rearranged five times. I’ve heard similar from other WROs. 
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering

    My understanding is that you can change the appointment once for any reason and after that you will asked to be provide a good reason for changing it.
    If there is a good reason, then there will not be a problem.
    I think that the problem arises if they do not allow you to change it and then deem you not to have attended. You then run the risk of having your benefit suspended.
    They use Reg 19 of the ESA regs 2013 for this. I think you could challenge it as there is nothing in the legislation about the number of times you can reschedule, it is internal DWP policy, but you probably want to try and avoid this by giving a good reason in the first place.
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,415 Disability Gamechanger
    I think this is inaccurate @Joanne_Scope

    1 - evidence to the Work and Pensions committee - https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmworpen/1015/101506.htm - showed widespread disregard for any reasons given for needing to change an appointment more than once. Most were wrongly told that they only got one chance and that was the end of the matter.

    2 - if you’re treated as having failed to attend then benefit is not suspended. You’re simply found fit for work as per reg 19 which explicitly says “ the claimant is to be treated as not having limited capability for work.” This is an important dysfunction because ending a suspension is a negotiation in which a claimant has little leverage whereas a found fit decision can be challenged by MR and appeal.

    3 - Reg 19 allows them to find you fit after any FTA so although they have this bizarre and likely illegal approach of one strike and out the legislation doesn’t even compel them to give one strike. 
  • Joanne_ScopeJoanne_Scope Helpline, Scope adviser Posts: 190 Pioneering
    Hi @mikehughescq,

    Thank you so much for the link-I have read it and will bear it in mind if the question comes up again!
    I think that we do need to be supporting people to challenge this "one strike and you're out" approach because as often seems to be the case, practice does not always reflect the actual legal position!
    Have you seen the information on the dpac website? I would be interested to hear what you think of their template letters?
    Joanne 
    Scope
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 5,415 Disability Gamechanger
    Aagh. For “dysfunction” read “distinction”.

    Nothing wrong with their letters but I do think imposing a 7 day deadline on DWP doesn’t really work in a world of mail handling centres etc. I’d personally go for 10 working days or 21 days so rise you look manifestly unreasonable whilst trying to claim they are. 
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    Husband received his rearranged home visit appointment in the post today...date and time is fine now..will they do a look around the bungalow (wondering if we need to get some help to tidy up and hoover beforehand) or will they stick to the one room (or two in our case as we are open plan?  Will they be wanting to see the aids he uses? If so we can make sure they are all to hand before they arrive.  Thanks
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,664 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @DuffersMum, they will only be in the rooms that you invite them into. I hope this helps. They shouldn't ask to look round the whole house.

    Aids could be helpful if you feel it could help the claim, but this isn't needed. 
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  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    No, they won't ask to look around or to see the aids that he uses. Were the aids recommended and provided by an Occupational Therapist or did you buy them yourself? If they were recommended by an OT do you have proof of this? A letter from them stating what was recommended? If so then this will be very useful as evidence.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    some were recommended by hospital physio, others by occupational therapist, some provided by occupational therapist but all at appointments so nothing in writing...no time now to get anything in writing as appointment is just after Christmas so not much we can do in that regard, but thanks for confirming they won’t need to look around as that will save us having to get help in.
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    ilovecats said:
    The most they will ask to do is maybe borrow the toilet!
    They will be well impressed with our bathroom in that case as it’s akin to one in a nursing home, as it’s an adapted wet room...it’s horrid and I hate it but it serves us well with our useless joints! 
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    The wet room itself is not classed as an aid but any hand rails and shower seats that you have in there should be classed as an aid providing you didn't buy them yourself.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • cristobalcristobal Member Posts: 966 Disability Gamechanger
    @duffersmum - Merry Christmas...

    Hope everything goes OK......


  • FlorineFlorine Member Posts: 39 Connected
    Husband received his rearranged home visit appointment in the post today...date and time is fine now..will they do a look around the bungalow (wondering if we need to get some help to tidy up and hoover beforehand) or will they stick to the one room (or two in our case as we are open plan?  
    Personally, I wouldn't do anything in terms of smartening the place or yourselves up: they need to see you as you are on a normal day - and if that means that the place is a tip and you're still in bed/your pyjamas at lunchtime, then so be it!  Making an extra effort might conceivably be counted against you - I've seen numerous instances of approving-sounding comments that the assessee (if there is such a word) looked "kempt" and erroneous conclusions being drawn about their state of health as a result.
  • OverlyAnxiousOverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,173 Disability Gamechanger
    ilovecats said:
    The most they will ask to do is maybe borrow the toilet!
    I hope they return it afterwards!  Presumably that's only necessary if they don't have enough to go on. ;)
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    The wet room itself is not classed as an aid but any hand rails and shower seats that you have in there should be classed as an aid providing you didn't buy them yourself.
    Non slip floor, raised loo seat, rail by loo, rails in shower, those horrible taps on the sink that you get in hospitals...it’s a joy to see I tell you 😫 will one day get it ripped out and redone but it was one of the reasons we decided to buy this bungalow at this time as it was suitable for our wonky joints!
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    Florine said:
    Husband received his rearranged home visit appointment in the post today...date and time is fine now..will they do a look around the bungalow (wondering if we need to get some help to tidy up and hoover beforehand) or will they stick to the one room (or two in our case as we are open plan?  
    Personally, I wouldn't do anything in terms of smartening the place or yourselves up: they need to see you as you are on a normal day - and if that means that the place is a tip and you're still in bed/your pyjamas at lunchtime, then so be it!  Making an extra effort might conceivably be counted against you - I've seen numerous instances of approving-sounding comments that the assessee (if there is such a word) looked "kempt" and erroneous conclusions being drawn about their state of health as a result.
    That’s very true actually. I apparently looked tidy and kempt at my assessment despite looking, in my view, like I’d just fallen out of bed...but as mentioned in other posts, my assessor wasn’t the most observant 🤷🏻‍♀️😂
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    I used to have a wet room exactly like that a few years ago. The wet room itself, including the non slip floor won't score any points but the raised seat should for toilet needs (2 points). The taps won't score any points. Rails in the shower may score 2 points for washing/bathing.
    Community champion and proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice i have given to members here on the community.
  • DuffersMumDuffersMum Member Posts: 119 Pioneering
    Thought I would just update, my husband had his home visit and the assessor was very nice, it was a totally different experience to what my assessment was like at the assessment centre.  She listened and the assessment took about an hour (compared to mine which was rushed at 25 minutes).

    He rang for a copy of the report and it seems, if the DWP go with the report, that he will get enhanced care (currently on standard) and enhanced mobility (already has this).  The report states no need for a review as she can’t see his conditions improving, so I’m guessing that he may get a 10 year review bearing in mind he reaches state retirement age this year.

    Now when you consider he has arthritis in knees and two hip replacements and his problems with mobility are as good as identical to mine, and his claim form was also very similar to mine (I have arthritis in hips and back and 2 knee replacements) yet he received enhanced mobility and I received standard...and I’m back to that old chestnut...the only difference is I said I drive occasionally and he said he hasn’t driven for 2 years.....his assessor had a far better understanding of osteoarthritis though I must say.,my assessor was clueless.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,664 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @DuffersMum, thank you for the update. I'm really glad your husband had a positive assessment. I can understand your frustrations, unfortunately two people could have the same conditions and be given different point due to the way it affects them.
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