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sparky514

can you only cancel your ESA assessment once?

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my son had to cancel his esa assessment in December due to the sickness virus that was going around, and the person I spoke to said you could only cancel it once, can anyone shed any light on this please

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The answer is "yes and no", unfortunately. There is no limit in the regulations as to how many times an ATOS appointment may be rearranged. In every case, though, it's necessary to show good cause.

 

Now, it's not ATOS that decides whether it was reasonable to miss an appointment, it's the DWP Decision Makers. As a general rule (and in my experience as processer, though not a DM), they'll accept pretty much any plausible reason for missing a first appointment, especially if the claimant called up in advance to notify. After the first time, they may be a bit more skeptical.

 

So no, it's not strictly true that an appointment can only be rearranged once. But I'd strongly advise anyone who has rearranged their appointment to do everything they can to make the new date.


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Wait, sorry, my above response is (I believe) more or less correct, so I'll let it stand, but I think I didn't consider all the issues.

 

However, I was considering a case where someone had actually failed to attend a medical, and I don't think those rules are really appropriate to the situation you're talking about. Could you tell us more? He rearranged because of the sickness bug, but does he now have to rearrange again? And why (roughly)?


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:sparky514:

 

As :antone: advises, there's no legislative limit as to how often an Atos assessment for employment n support allowance can be rescheduled. Depends on who wants to reschedule and why!!

 

In Atos speak, your son's situation in December was an 'unable to attend'. Every assessee is allowed one 'unable to attend' cos of flu, chaperone can't get time off work, car broke down, etcetera. An 'unable to attend' needs to be be notified to Atos before the appointment, or at the latest, on the day of the appointment. If it's not, they'll treat it as a 'failure to attend'.

 

A second 'unable to attend' gets treated as a 'failure to attend' whether or not it's notified to Atos. But a phone call or a letter to let them know, can help with the good cause bit when the claimant receives a BF223 letter, which asks for an explanation of the no show. If good cause is accepted, Atos get asked to arrange a further appointment.

 

Sincerely, Margaret. :panda:

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However, ATOS are allowed to cancel as often as they like without having to give any reason at all.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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However, ATOS are allowed to cancel as often as they like without having to give any reason at all.

 

Yes, true, and it is infuriating. However, the claimant can't be financially penalised (in terms of losing benefit) in such cases.


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margaret, after a second unable to attend, do sanctions kick in strait away,or do they wait for return of the bf223 form before taking any decision for another medical,or sanctions?

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A decision maker has to decide that there wasn't a good reason for the unable to attend before sanctions are applied, and they can't do that until they have been given a reason.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Its worth pointing out it only gets to a DM at the DWP if ATOS return the file, if ATOS accept the claimants reason of cancellation then the DM isn't involved, ATOS just book a new appointment instead.

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in my last WCA, ATOS cancelled about 4 appointments following a phone call from me. The DWP were not involved.

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In the case of a cancellation where the claimant phones ATOS to change their appointment it is up to ATOS if they accept the claimant's reason for changing or not. In the case of a no show with no prior contact I would suspect that ATOS have to refer to DWP before issuing another appointment.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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if you dont mind me asking,worried33, what reasons did you cancel for?

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in my case they were assessments which had either no or insufficient recording equipment after I was approved for a recorded assessment.

 

They also cancelled one I had turned up for which prompted me to ring before the other 4 to make sure the equipment was there before I attended.

 

I believe they will allow one easy cancellation where you get the benefit of the doubt for the reason, and then after that its at their discretion.

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update..my wife didnt attend her rearranged wca and told atos why..instead of getting a bf223 she eventually got a letter with another appointment date from atos.

she is hardly ever going out now so can she insist on a home visit?

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if she didn't attend without telling them first you are very lucky to get the new appointment instead of a termination of benefit, its not advised to simply not attend without informing them.

 

I don't know if you can demand a home visit, but you can ask for one, they probably will ask for some kind of letter of your GP or something to verify that travelling to a medical is unreasonable.

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if she didn't attend without telling them first you are very lucky to get the new appointment instead of a termination of benefit, its not advised to simply not attend without informing them.

 

I don't know if you can demand a home visit, but you can ask for one, they probably will ask for some kind of letter of your GP or something to verify that travelling to a medical is unreasonable.

 

yes she did tell them first as soon as she knew she wouldnt be able to attend..they were pretty good about it

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You will need a letter from your GP to have any chance of getting a home visit.

It may or may not be to your benefit, but generally people have to wait longer for home visits. They have to be done by a doctor and ATOS don't employ many actual doctors.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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