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Atos Appointment Cancellation

edited 3 February at 2:05PM in Benefits & Tax Credits
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poppet17poppet17 Forumite
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edited 3 February at 2:05PM in Benefits & Tax Credits
I am 65 years old - My PIP is due for renewal on 17th March 2020 - in March 2019 I contacted the DWP about my renewal and asked when they would send out the forms, I was told it takes approximately 6 months to get a decision from receiving the filled in forms , so my forms would come out to me around August time. I recieved my forms in September 2019, filled them in and called to find out when they were recieved by the DWP - recieve date was 5th October 2019. Approximately 2/3 weeks later I recieved a call from the DWP to do a robust assessment over the phone but because I could not answer 1 question she decided to send me for a face to face but she did inform me that my next award would be for 10 years and because of that she just wanted to make sure I was getting the correct amount of money, the forms where recieved by ATOS on 25th October 2019 - By January 2020 after several calls to ATOS and constantly being told I was at the top of the list I still did not have an appointment so decided to take it to my local MP - she got me an appointment for 3rd February 2020 @ 11am. On the 3rd February 2020 @ 8:27am I recieved a text asking me to call their telephone number which I did - I was informed that my appointment had been cancelled due to sickness and that I had to make another appointment, when I asked when that would be I was told once again there where no appointments available in my area and they would send a letter to let me know when this would be. I contacted the DWP and was informed again there was nothing they could do. I also contacted my local MP's office again and they said they would contact the DWP also but there was nothing more that they could do either. On the 17th March my PIP will end, my car will be taken away and I will have no means of getting to any further appointments as I cannot use public transport and there is no one I can call on to take me there - they will not do a home visit because there is public transport in my area (I live rural). I will have no money coming in, no transport and will be housebound. How do I complain to ATOS about my treatment and if I do complain will it actually do anything?
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Replies

  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    poppet17 wrote: »
    On the 4th February 2020 @ 8:27am I recieved a text

    That’s tomorrow!

    More seriously this is a huge area of concern. We used to complain because DWP sent out renewals 12 months in advance which was too soon. They have progressively been leaving this until later and now say renewals/reminders will be sent out about 14 weeks before the end date. In principle this is sensible but I am aware of several claimants experiencing exactly the same scale of delay as you, paperwork sent to IAS (formerly ATOS) by DWP in October but no assessment dates arranged.

    Although your MP has said they cannot do any more I think it is important to keep them informed and make sure they understand the implications.

    Here is the information on how to complain to IAS https://www.mypipassessment.co.uk/feedback/. Whether or not it will influence the date of your decision I don’t know.

    How we get out of this mess I have no idea. A benefits system that is not delivered in a timely manner is not an effective benefits system.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • poppet17poppet17 Forumite
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    Thank you I have ammended date to 3rd - I am so wound up about the whole thing I guess I didn't check the post properly - will put in a complaint but fear it will be too late for me.
  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
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    I can't see how a complaint will help in this matter. There has been inconvenience but nothing more.

    The award is still in place (until 17th March). The car is still available (until it is taken away). So there is no disadvantage at present.

    Rather than complain, why not address the issue of the possibility of being disadvantage and invite the DWP/ATOS to avoid the issue by providing either a timely assessment or confirming PIP based on the evidence they have to hand.

    Then you'll keep the PIP (car) and if you think you have been underpaid, you can use the normal system to appeal the award - as you will have an award rather than none.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    calcotti wrote: »
    More seriously this is a huge area of concern. We used to complain because DWP sent out renewals 12 months in advance which was too soon. They have progressively been leaving this until later and now say renewals/reminders will be sent out about 14 weeks before the end date.
    Reviews take place 6 months before the award is due to end for those that were awarded by DWP. Those awarded by Tribunal are contacted 14 weeks before.



    I do agree though that even with the 6 months before there's now a chance that a decision won't be made by the time the award is due to end. It's a catch 22 situation, 12 months before was just too early and now even the 6 months before could be too last for some areas, depending on backlogs.



    Unfortunately, we can't have it both ways.
  • edited 3 February at 5:56PM
    calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    edited 3 February at 5:56PM
    poppy12345 wrote: »
    Reviews take place 6 months before the award is due to end for those that were awarded by DWP. Those awarded by Tribunal are contacted 14 weeks before.

    I do agree though that even with the 6 months before there's now a chance that a decision won't be made by the time the award is due to end. It's a catch 22 situation, 12 months before was just too early and now even the 6 months before could be too last for some areas, depending on backlogs.

    Unfortunately, we can't have it both ways.

    It’s not consistent. I’ve recently had someone with a DWP award (3 year wad at point of DLA to PIP transfer) receiving a letter inviting them to reapply issued at fourteen weeks. Because that happened just before Christmas there’s been a delay in reapplying and, based on the assessment delays we are experiencing, I am not optimistic that a decision will made before the existing award ends (which in this case will also result in loss of SDP). It’s all very unsatisfactory. it’s unfortunate that just as DWP have adopted a more sensible attitude to renewals IAS seem to have got worse.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • wubblywubbly Forumite
    7 posts
    This is a situation that I have previously brought up on here.
    My reading of the rules is that IF you are currently 65 and over AND have a current PIP award there will be NO reassessment at the review point. You would automatically be given a 10 year extension instead.

    I am aware of a case that a 70 year old who has been on PIP for 5 years has been sent a review form. When the DWP were challenged they argued that he 10 year automatic award will only be given to those 65 and older provided that the DWP are accepting that there can have been no improvement in their abilities. Those cases that are doubtful will be reassessed at any age.

    Seems like you are another case similar to the one that I have quoted.
  • poppet17poppet17 Forumite
    68 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Thank you all for your replies - A complaint has been lodged with ATOS as the appointment was made by my local MP due to the urgency because of time restraints and it was that appointment that was cancelled and also because they have had the paperwork since October 25th 2019. I was told I would get a 10 year award by the DWP when they rang me in October to do a robust telephone assessment and they wanted to make sure I was getting the correct amount for my needs so sent me for an assessment - BUT because ATOS have not yet done the assessment they have no authority to extend the award. The paperwork cannot be returned because they have cancelled appointment and ATOS state that it will take a minimum of 6 weeks from assessment to getting the paperwork back to the DWP - the DWP have stated that once the paperwork has been returned it can take up to another 6 weeks before the final decision is made. Given that it is only 5 weeks before my PIP ends there is no way it will be completed in time which will mean the loss of my car as well. If I do not get my assessment before my pip ends I will have no money to get me to the assessment and I have no one available to take me there. My MP has been notified of the cancellation and I am waiting for someone to contact me about the next stage. I fear nothing will happen and I will be left housebound with no help and no transport. (And no I do not have anyone that can help me).
  • poppy12345poppy12345 Forumite
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    If you are unable to use public transport and have no one to take you then you can ask them to pay the costs of a taxi. The only issue with this is that you have to pay the costs and then claim them back.


    Or request a home assessment but for this you'll need a letter from your GP stating the reasons why you can't attend the assessment centre.
  • WhenIam64WhenIam64 Forumite
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    BUT because ATOS have not yet done the assessment they have no authority to extend the award

    Can you cite who said that. The DWP can do anything it wants within reason. Have you contacted them rather than complain to ATOS who are not the DWP.
    Unlike some here, I am not omniscient. If I am wrong correct me. I won't take offence.

    The law is like an ocean - have a swim but don't drown.
  • poppet17poppet17 Forumite
    68 posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    It was DWP themselves, I spoke to a senior member of staff who said that they have been trying to get the government to extend pip for people who are waiting for assessments but they are refusing and have said that once the end date comes along it must stop until a decision has been made. I am hoping my MP can intervene but not holding out much hope.
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