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Woman Who Missed Two DWP Appointments While In Hospital For Open Heart Surgery Loses PIP

August 23, 2016

A woman who missed two appointments because she was in hospital for open heart surgery has been stripped of her benefits.

Lyn Wright, who has a heart condition, says she has been left feeling suicidal as a result of the effect of the decision made by Capita, on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, to stop her Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which will see her lose almost £140 a week.

After rearranging one appointment because she was due to undergo life-saving surgery in May, she did so again after the surgery was brought forward to earlier that month.

Lyn’s mother Margaret Unsworth informed Capita she was unable to make a third appointment after she collapsed during her recuperation and was rushed to Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor in June.

On August 3, the DWP informed Lyn that she had lost her PIP payments due to her “refusal” to make the assessment appointments.

The 48-year-old from Colwyn Bay says she is now on anti-depressants because the affair has affected her so badly and it made her feel suicidal.

A tearful Lyn said: “I never refused the appointments. I was in hospital in May having a mechanical valve put in my main aorta in my heart and I told them about it. I have been suffering for years and I finally found I had two valves missing from my main aorta. I was born with it apparently.

“Then I was rushed back into Ysbyty Gwynedd on June 20 after I collapsed and I got a letter while I was there asking to meet me at home for assessment on June 22.

Is it right that Lyn Wright was stripped of her benefits?

She tried to discharge herself from hospital

“My mother called Capita on June 21 and told them the situation and asked if they could do the interview while I was in hospital but they said they couldn’t and it would be classed as my third ‘refusal’ and passed back to the DWP.”

Lyn, who has also been diagnosed with Lupus, tried to discharge herself from Ysbyty Gwynedd because she was worried about losing the payments but doctors persuaded her to stay and called in a clinical psychologist because she was so upset.

Lyn’s mother called the DWP a week later, offering to send proof of her admissions, operation and discharge dates but she says the DWP said that would not be necessary.

After being discharged from hospital on July 5 she received a letter from the DWP on August 3 saying her PIP payments had been stopped, effective from August 1.

She will now have to wait a further six to eight weeks to see if her payments will be reinstated.

Lyn added: “I’ve lost £139.75 a week and had to stop my carers and my cleaner who helped me while I was recovering. I don’t want to run up bills… because I’ve worked all my life.
‘It’s the injustice of it that eats you up’

“I had a good enough reason. I tried everything to offer to send them the proof I was going in hospital. Then I get the letter saying I didn’t provide a good enough reason and my benefit is stopped.

“It’s the injustice of it that eats you up. If having open heart surgery isn’t a good enough reason for not attending an interview what can you do?

“I asked them to come and see me in hospital and they wouldn’t. I did everything I could.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions on PIP are made based on the information provided by the claimant and their GP.

“We expect the highest standards from the contractors who carry out assessments on our behalf.”

A Capita spokesperson said: “In line with the agreed operating guidelines, where people are unable to attend two PIP assessments Capita refers their case back to the DWP. We are working with the DWP to investigate this case.”

8 Comments leave one →
  1. jeffrey davies permalink
    August 23, 2016 11:34 am

    A DWP spokesperson said: “Decisions on PIP are made based on the information provided by the claimant and their Gp hmmm in hospital then crapita sshould have waited it was in to much of a hurry to say no yet dwp should have reinstated monies but then aktion t4 rolls along without much of a ado

  2. August 23, 2016 6:03 pm

    I would issue court proceedings against CRAPITA for 10 years at the highest rate they have clearly stated she refused, this is a lie by CRAPITA as she was in hospital as her records will show this. All that will matter is that she can show an admittance date before the assessment and a release date after the assessment date, then it just comes down to who’s word they believe in phoning them to inform them the person was in hospital and could not attend, hopefully a fully itemised bill could show this, but if they used an 0800 number they may not show as an outgoing call.

    • janxh permalink
      August 23, 2016 7:00 pm

      The Dwp record all phone calls, so this lady could request a copy and a transcript of the calls and throw it right back at them. Of course this won’t make up for the undue stress she is now under, but it might redress the balance and prove what she is saying.

  3. August 23, 2016 7:05 pm

    This is testament to our cruel heartless government and the way they treat the chronically sick and disabled.
    The gestapo at DWP/Crapita/Atossers/Maximus get away with this abuse, mismanagement and incompetence time and time again and still nothing is done. They are never held accountable or answerable for their numerous gross errors and more and more often we see sick and disabled people in dire straits have much needed funds taken away from them.
    Where is the humanity and common sense here?
    It seems pretty obvious that the system barely functions when we see cases such as this.

  4. Justin Greenwood permalink
    August 23, 2016 7:17 pm

    I would go straight to a solicitor for advice and if necessary to instigate legal action against all parties concerned and part of that case should come under safeguarding, this is the sort of report that shows that capita are unfit for purpose and have been since the alan barham show and that this whole process not only needs a shake but a total overhaul of responsibility and if that means sacking atos/capita and maximus then bye bye and if that also means getting rid of the unfit nurses and the rest from the wca, who very rarely get taken to a medical hearing then so be it, sack them as well, we don’t nee dpeople increasing the burden on the nhs than this unfit lot

  5. August 23, 2016 7:55 pm

    i may be wrong but didnt Chris Grayling make it practically impossible for people on benefits to go to court for benefit problems like this? i am almost sure;the green paper for free advice etc no longer exists for these cases. i think you can still get that free half hours advice. but thats it unless you have the cash to pay solicitors fees for anything after that free half hour.

    • Justin Greenwood permalink
      August 23, 2016 8:44 pm

      I think you are right on this, however as the person was having medical treatment for a condition and as this relates to health, a appointment to see some thing from the dwp vs your own health is more important, particurlarly in relation to the open heart surgery and ongoing treatment are they abiding by there code of ethics, if not then there is not only grounds for making a serious case for complaint, however knowing how callous this lot are they also know that someone with a heart condition is likely to be under strain, the fact that that same person has then presented with thoughts that have led to being prescribed anti depressants and if they have been advised of this possible means if they are not allready in breach of safeguarding regulations, knowingly worsening a person condition, is one that springs to mind. I would consider talking to law society or cab and asking if they can find a solicitor willing to take this on.

      as for grayling i hold that piece of rubbish in the same way that i view ids and i really do hope that black triangle succeeds in the misconduct in public office charge, it is high time some of these wca assessors and decision makers if you can call them that found out the hard way that there not immune and misconduct in public office also applies to them.

      • August 24, 2016 7:53 pm

        well said ..i endorse evrything you have said there including re IDS grayling etc.(could do to be more of them in my eyes facing charges)..

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