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Hi, my name is Pol!

PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
I am my wife's full time carer. My wife is housebound due to having genetic spinal degeneration and subsequent loss of discs and also severe pain caused by bone pressing on her nerve fibres. She had been asked to go to a face to face assessment, but her GP has sent a letter to the assessment centre for a home visit. So far the centre had now merely issued a new assessment date at the centre in the next town. My wife is unable to soit with her legs down and has them raised at all times and is also unable to use a wheelchair. She is obviously concerned that if she doesn't attend the assessment, she may have her benefit stopped. She isn't against having the assessment, but just needs one at home. What should she do to achieve this?

Replies

  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @pol, and welcome to the community!

    I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble requesting a home assessment, especially as it seems you've done everything right so far and clearly have a need for a home visit.

    Have you tried ringing the assessment centre to check they received the GP letter? If not, this would be advisable and most likely the quickest way of resolving the situation for you and your wife. There should be a contact number on any documents you've received so far, or if not you can find local contact details on this website.

    Let us know how you get on and if we can be of any further assistance, and good luck! 
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    They did receive the GP letter on the 1st of November. They cancelled my wife's 3rd November appointment and in an email said "to give us time to review the request and we will write to you formally with the outcome of the request." The following day a new automatic appointment was arranged. Not sure if this is the decision they made or if some other decision for a home visit is to be made in the interim. Not sure how long their decision processes take!
  • Pippa_AlumniPippa_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,851 Disability Gamechanger
    @Pol Ahh, I see. Have you spoken to anybody since the new automatic appointment was arranged? There can be severe delays and backlogs but it definitely wouldn't hurt to ring again, just so you know whether or not to wait to hear something else.

    I've also moved this post into the 'Ask a benefits advisor' category to see if they have any suggestions for you.
  • CockneyRebelCockneyRebel Member Posts: 5,257 Disability Gamechanger
    Gp letters need to be very specific when a home visit is needed.
    At this stage you might get your local MP involved

    CR
    Be all you can be, make  every day count. Namaste
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    My next port of call.....thank you!
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger
    An MP isn't necessarily the best route at this stage. You would be better to write back to them advising that your wife is a disabled person as defined by the Equality Act 2010 and therefore entitled to 'reasonable adjustments'. You need to confirm that the request for a home-visit was a request for an RA and that as such their grounds for rejection are limited. Ask them which specific ground they are citing for rejection of an EA 10 request. 

    What tends to happen at this stage is that they either arrange a home-visit (depending on the provider) or they mysteriously find enough evidence to determine the case on scrutiny i.e. to make a recommendation based on the paperwork only. 

    No MP needed. 
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thank you.....very useful information!
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Mikehughescq, I'm rather new to all this.....what is an RA?
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Also, would the fact that my wife is still on DLA at the higher rates of both mobility and care?
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger
    edited November 2017
    RA = reasonable adjustment. 

    And no, alas the fact she’s on DLA shows no more than she’s on DLA. 

    Asking for a home-visit is about using EA 10 to ask for it as an RA and then making the case. It means a refusal can be taken to a solicitor and a letter before action issued. At that stage, as I said earlier, they’ll either do the visit or make a decision on scrutiny.

    A GP letter helps but is not binding and the counter argument is that if you can get out for routine medical appointments then you can attend an assessment venue as income is just as important as health.  That’s the case you’re fighting against. Whether housebound is really housebound and whether all transport is out of the question. 
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thank you so much.....very helpful!
  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Update.......the assessment people suddenly found that they had enough evidence in the paperwork.....my wife sends you a big thank you Mike Hughes. A very big thank you from me too.....we have had several weeks of stress and anxiety over this.
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger

    Thanks for the feedback. Glad it worked out. Had you involved an MP you may still have been waiting. There are far quicker and more effective routes and EA 10 is one of them.

    What should now happen in theory is that the assessment provider and DWP should both note this for next time. They don't though and that has great potential for legal action as a failure to note RAs.

    So, do be aware that, despite this success, there will stupidly be a subsequent invite also.

    Their argument is that each RA is a "one off". I suspect that isn't going to work for them long term.

  • PolPol Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Thank you for all your expertise. It's just a shame not everyone has access to the right knowledge to deal with this kind of thing. Many people don't even have access to the internet, so they are even more disadvantaged.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Well - this has been sorted before we even got chance to reach it in the queue!

    Thanks @Mikehughescq !

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 6,284 Disability Gamechanger
    Sorry, time on my hands in the evening this week.
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