Source: Benefits and Work, 01 December 2015
When there was an enormous backlog for personal independence payment (PIP) assessments, claimants were often given an appointment at a distant assessment centre, even though there was one much closer to them.
The explanation given was that it was necessary to book claimants in wherever there were available appointments, rather than keeping them waiting for the closest centre to have a vacancy.
But those enormous waiting lists have vanished now, with waiting times generally down to weeks rather than months.
Yet we’re [Benefits and Work] still hearing from members who are being asked to travel almost 90 minutes for a face-to-face assessment, even when there is a centre in their own town.
Very often this means that the claimant cancels the first appointment. But then they must attend the next appointment they are given, no matter how problematic, or risk being refused PIP for failure to attend an assessment.
We [Benefits and Work] would like to find out how common and how widespread this issue is. So, please let us know by commenting below or dropping us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and telling us how far you were asked to travel to a medical, when this happened and whether there was another centre closer to you.