As part of the specification for the PIP assessment service, Assessment Providers must provide sufficient suitable accommodation for face-to-face consultations. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has set clear requirements in terms of geography, travel, security and the claimant experience in relation to the sites used for PIP consultations.
The DWP requirement is that claimants do not have to travel for more than 90 minutes by public transport (single journey) to a consultation. However, this limit is an absolute maximum and for the majority of claimants their journey will be less than this.
The appointment letter includes a map and directions to the Assessment Centre. Where the claimant has a medical condition that makes travel difficult the claimant should discuss this with the Assessment Provider.
The DWP have specified circumstances where a home consultation will be offered, in particular where the claimant is unable to travel to a consultation as a result of their health conditions or impairments. More specifically home consultations could be offered when the claimant provides confirmation from their health professional that indicates they are unable to travel on health grounds.
When a claimant travels to a face-to-face consultation they are able to claim travel expenses for themselves and a companion, carer or young children who would otherwise be left unattended.
Payments can be made for public transport fares, travel by private motor vehicle and other costs relating to the journey to and from the consultation such as parking. There are circumstances in which taxi fares can be reimbursed. This should be discussed with the Assessment Provider before attending the consultation. Payments relating to other costs of the journey such as parking, tolls or congestion charges can also be met. Travel expenses will be reimbursed within 14 days of the claim but cannot be paid in advance or at the Assessment Centre.
Should a claimant have any difficulties attending a consultation they should discuss it with the Assessment Provider as soon as possible. If a claimant contacts the Assessment Provider in advance to advise they are unable to attend their consultation, they will be offered a second appointment. This may enable them to arrange for a companion to assist with their travel arrangements.
Justin Tomlinson MP
Minister for Disabled People
This raises an issue I’d not considered before, the DWP state “claimants do not have to travel for more than 90 minutes by public transport” and as Steve says, and having lived in the area for over 8 years I concur, the problem with getting to Walsall from Birmingham is not the distance, which at around 13 mile should be within the DWP criteria but the fact that “getting to Walsall for an early morning appointment is “at a best a nightmare” even when the M6 is “at its quietest”; thus as Steve points out “potentially you could lose your award because of traffic problem”.
Steve raised the case thinking of using a private car but by public transport it is an even worse problem – consider you need a use a bus to get to train station (or as close as possible) then the train journey itself and finally the bus (if there is one) to the assessment centre. This could easily take more than 90 minutes, therefore your PIP award could rely on traffic?
Just to add final insult to injury you arrive at Walsall Assessment Centre to find it is inaccessible for disabled people!
Debbie Sayers and I are fully aware of the length of time Duncan Smith also known as IDS has been getting away with lies and exaggerations, and as regular readers know, we have been running our 'Truth Campaign' for over two years.
From our open letter to Esther McVey (remember her), to our petition to the Work & Pensions Committee which went to Parliament, we are still going on, with our current petition IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES.
It is the breadth of lies issued by each of the various Ministers under IDS along with his own, and if you’re feeling masochistic and want to read more, search lies on Jayne Linney's blog alone, that makes me ask the question I began with – what the Fuck has IDS over the Tories?
I fail to understand why, they tolerate someone who alone, demonstrates every reason why this Government cannot be trusted; further I cannot comprehend why the public are not screaming about it either?
I am fully aware of how difficult it is to keep on fighting when you are suffering.
I have not written, or done anything other than the bare minimum, for almost 2 months, due to very poor physical health and an exceptionally dangerously dark state of mind!
BUT, I cannot and will not stop, pushing to have the Lies of all Ministers of the DWP Exposed – it is these Lies and Spin that drive the policies which, according to coroner Mary Hassell, Triggered the suicide of Michael O’Sullivan, and most likely many many more.
If this bothers you as much as it does me, please let’s have a HUGE push to have #IDS Indicted.
No matter how futile it would be to ask Kathryn Hudson the Commissioner for Standards to investigate IDS, gaining a large number of signatures should afford us with enough media coverage to help actually get rid of IDS from the DWP; and that would make me feel better, how about you?
SIGN IDS – TIME TO STOP THE LIES, Share it and keep on sharing until the mainstream media can ignore it no longer.
By Jayne Linney, Leicester
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