Woman has disability benefits stopped because assessor failed to turn up to home visit
A woman with mental health problems has had her disability benefits stopped because her assessor failed to turn up to a home visit, leaving her unable to buy basic groceries and suffering high levels of anxiety.
Michelle Moloney, 40, was left hundreds of pounds down after she was informed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that because she “didn’t go” the assessment her Disability Living Allowance (DLA) would stop and her Personal Independent Payment (PIP) had been refused.
Capita, the company sub-contracted by the government to carry out disability benefit assessments, has since said the assessor arrived at the wrong time and apologised to Ms Moloney that their service “fell short of its high standards”.
Ms Moloney, who lives in Nottinghamshire and suffers from bipolar disorder type 2, severe anxiety, and has a history of self-harm, received a letter from the DWP on 28 February stating that her PIP claim had been refused.
It went on to state: “This is because you didn’t go to the assessment on 14 February 2018 and we don’t think you’ve given us a good reason for this.”
When Ms Moloney sent a letter of complaint to Capita with the help of a friend, they responded on 14 March saying that based on information they had received from the assessor (“a description of her house”) meant they were “unable to uphold” the complaint.
But after being contacted by The Independent, Capita sent Ms Moloney another email on 28 March stating: “Following a further review of your appointment on 14 February 2018 it became apparent the Disability Assessor attended your property earlier than the scheduled appointment time.
“DWP agreed to send the case back to Capita for a new appointment. I can confirm an appointment has been scheduled for 9.15am on Monday 16 April 2018 at your home address.”
As a result of the error, Ms Moloney said she missed out on £685 last month, which left her unable to eat properly and suffering from high levels of anxiety.
“I’ve not done my usual online shop. I’ve been living off bread and cheese rather than getting proper food to cook. I’ve been scared to spend money. I cancelled everything that wasn’t a must be paid direct debit,” she told The Independent.
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Woman has disability benefits stopped because assessor failed to turn up to home visit - 9 Apr 2018
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