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Claimant Forced To Crawl Up Assessment Centre Stairs

June 30, 2017

Disability campaigners have called on the Government to end “humiliating” benefit assessments after a disabled woman was forced to “crawl” up stairs to attend an appointment.

Maria Quinn, who is partially sighted and walks with the aid of a wheeled frame, described how she was left feeling “mortified and panicked” after finding there was no step-free access for her consultation at a disability benefits centre.

With her solicitor carrying her mobility aid and her sister holding her breathing equipment, Ms Quinn, 32, managed to enter the building on Glasgow’s Cadogan Street by “crawling up the two split-level stairs”.

She said she was refused the portable ramp which can be used to cover the entrance stairs as it was intended for wheelchairs only, and if she had returned to her flat to collect her chair she would have been late and missed the appointment.

“There is no ramp or flat entrance to the disability assessment building…that’s right folks! You read it correctly,” Ms Quinn wrote on Facebook

“I am partially sighted and stairs aren’t my best buds at the best of times but these are ye olde ultra solid not-concrete-but-possibly-some-sort of-titanium-killer-stairs…you know the ones! Crumbly ends from centuries of feet and furniture and goodness knows what.”

Campaigners at disability charity Scope said her case highlighted the difficulties disabled people face in trying to attend assessments, and called for an overhaul of how they are carried out.

James Taylor, Scope’s head of policy, said disabled people were suffering “unnecessary anxiety or distress” because of the way benefits assessments were being handled.  

He told The Independent the Government must “adopt a more flexible approach in how it carries out Personal Independence Payment assessments for disabled people in these situations and ensure assessment centres provide accessible options for disabled people”.

“No one should be forced to drag themselves up a staircase in order to attend their benefits appointment – to subject anyone to this level of humiliation is simply deplorable,” he added.

“We’ve heard too many stories of disabled people who are caused unnecessary anxiety or distress when attending benefits assessments – being forced to travel unreasonable distances for their appointments or struggling to access the centres themselves.

“Disabled people we speak to often tell us that a face-to-face assessment is not always the best method of assessment, due to accessibility.”

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said: “Where an assessment centre isn’t directly accessible from the street level, we endeavour to make this clear to people before they arrive for their appointment.

“There is a ramp available at the Glasgow Assessment Centre – if people can’t use this, arrangements will be made to see them at an alternative location.”

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Sarah permalink
    June 30, 2017 10:04 pm

    It is a rediculous situation in the 2nd decade of the 21century, 13 years after all physical barriers to access were to be removed under the DDA 1995. Howcome the DWP and their so called independent assessors can break the law once again? What reasonable adjustments were made under the Equality Act none! They should be anticipating the needs of all users by haveing fully accessible premises that at least meet the minimum current Part M building regulations,
    5 years ago my then local assessment centre would not allow Wheelchair users in because we were deemed a fire and safety risk But it was apparently alright to send disabled people on long journeys on non accessible public transport. I got an amusing letter back from the then DWP minister who failed to answer all the issues raised, fortunately I did not have to attend a face to face after for WCA
    The DWP for the WCA for ESA assumes modern businesses are accessible, but not the DWP , ATOS CApITA or Maximus, amazing! They sometimes try to get round it by home visits, whether you want one or not for both WCA and PIP.
    Why should other service providers or businesses bother with access if a Government department could not care less. it is vital people do let their MPs know when faced with access issues , and or sent on unreasonable journeys, for these benefits so that they can write to the current ministers , they have to answer MP s.
    I was given no choice for my PIP assessment, only a home visit. This may sound great, as you can not be forced to walk longer distances than normal, but instead they make assumptions about the distance without any evidence on their part, and no checks to see if it is reasonable, reliable or safe,
    The face to face assessors only appear to have one agenda to write fiction and lies and fail you.

    • July 2, 2017 4:07 pm

      What’s all this waste time writing to your MP stuff?

      If you get burgled or mugged do you write to your MP?

      P.O.L.I.C.E

      Fraud Act 2006 – Fraud by abuse of position –
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/4


      Section 4 – Fraud by abuse of position

      (1)A person is in breach of this section if he—

      (a)occupies a position in which he is expected to safeguard, or not to act against, the financial interests of another person,

      (b)dishonestly abuses that position, and

      (c)intends, by means of the abuse of that position—

      .(i)to make a gain for himself or another, or
      .(ii)to cause loss to another or to expose another to a **risk** of loss.

      (2)A person may be regarded as having abused his position even though his conduct consisted of an **omission** rather than an act.

      That’s it.. That’s the whole offence… Not exactly difficult, is it.

      Fraud –
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/section/1

      (3)A person who is guilty of fraud is liable—

      (a)on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum (or to both);

      (b)on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or to a fine (or to both).

      .

      Fraud Act 2006 –
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/35/contents

      Blackmail
      Theft Act 1968 – Section 21 – Blackmail
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1968/60/section/21

      Conspiracy to Defraud –
      http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/s_to_u/sentencing_manual/conspiracy_to_defraud_(common_law)/

      Misconduct in Public Office –
      http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/l_to_o/misconduct_in_public_office/

      Care Act 2014 –
      Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/23/section/42/enacted

      Beware of the government Trolls.
      They want you wasting your time on letter writing, appeals and internal complaints cover-ups.

      • Sarah permalink
        July 2, 2017 6:49 pm

        I have always found contacting my MP helpful in dealing with DWP and usually results getting issues resolved. I agree the issues should not have arisen, and some MPs of all parties may not be as good as others but it is worth trying. I suspect the police are not always interested in access issues, and most of us do not have the means to take action against ATOS/ CAPITA/ Maximus or the DWP under the Equality Act, which covers access to buildings or services. I suspect their legal team would get them off through a loop hole and dealing with this as well as trying to get PIP or ESA would increase the stress.

    • July 6, 2017 12:22 am

      Sigh

      Read – Fraud by abuse of position

      Breaking the Equality Act is *certainly* more than enough Vulnerable Adult Abusing “dishonestly” to put people at “risk of loss”.

      *Honest* Cops are **Certainly** “interested” in ‘Serious Crime’ (Fraud is a ‘Serious Crime’).
      And it’s up to LIFE in prison for Misconduct in Public Office.

      I don’t know what planet you’re living on… on mine… over the past EIGHT YEARS, I have NEVER had an actual reply from ANY politician from ANY party. Local, Regional or National.

      That includes criminal filth like my MP Alun Cairns, Teresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, David Cameron, Ian Duncan Smith and loads more of the nonce scum.
      “Willful Neglect of a Public Duty” = Misconduct in Public Office = Up to LIFE in prison

      You sound like a Government Troll… or some Political true believing Kool-aid drinker.

      Like I asked you –
      If you get burgled or mugged do you write to your MP?

      • Sarah permalink
        July 6, 2017 1:15 am

        I have been fortunate to have had 2 excellent MP’s,and their supporting staff, one Con, one Labour, who have helped deal with the DWP endless time: as well as a few other public services. If you write to ministers etc direct the chance of getting a reponse is extremely low, hence the need to get your MP onboard as they have to respond to the latter. MP’s usually only answer to their own constituents.

        Unfortunately the Equality Act usually leaves us personally to deal with its failings on access etc with the EHRC rarely policing the Act. Not normally a police task, more a civil matter. I am sure the police do deal with fraud, hate crimes etc
        I am sorry to disappoint you but I am only a mere wheelchair user with a few more hidden impairments and conditions that make everyday life challenging to say the least, no government troll, no affiliation to any political party

    • July 7, 2017 5:46 pm

      Didn’t you read what I wrote… Eight years of total silence from my criminal scumbag MP.
      http://phobosanddeimos.net/

      ALL MP’s (that’s ***ALL*** MP’s) Have a “Public Duty” to “Uphold the Law” it’s in their codes of conduct.

      “Willful Neglect of a Public Duty” = Misconduct in Public Office = Up to LIFE in prison

      So what are the names of these MP’s who didn’t report the crimes committed against you to the Police??? And didn’t report Vulnerable Adult Abuse to Social Services???

      Perverting The Course of Justice –
      http://www.cps.gov.uk/legal/p_to_r/public_justice_offences_incorporating_the_charging_standard/

      Are those criminal nonce MP’s,and their ‘supporting staff’ in prison yet?

      You are extremely forgiving of the way those sickos have treated you… OK… maybe you’re just a masochist with a deathwish?

      Like I asked you –
      If you get burgled or mugged do you write to your MP?

      • Sarah permalink
        July 7, 2017 6:06 pm

        I am sorry your MP appears useless. If I were burgled, mugged etc, I would go to the most appropriate body, that is the Police, however many of these crimes are never investigated. I have suffered hundreds oof pounds of criminal damage and got a letter stating they weren’t investigating further.
        Whats important is not to let the DWP get away with wrong decissions, by any means that works. Hopefully you have had sucess using the Police.

    • July 8, 2017 6:08 pm

      I’m on to the (not-Independent) Police Complaints Commission… because bent South Wales Atos-Capita-Labour-Unison-police won’t do anything but Pervert The Course Of Justice –
      http://www.phobosanddeimos.net/where-are-the-police/

      The ‘I’PCC is staffed by PCS Union members, same Union as DWP criminals.

      The ‘I’PCC is run by members of a Union called “The Association of First Division Civil Servants” (roflmao)
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FDA_(trade_union)

      ‘FDA’ has strong links to Atos/Maximus Quacks Union Unison.
      Unison has an office at South Wales Police Headquarters.

      South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner is Labour.
      Unison donates £Millions to the Labour Party.
      Jeremy Corbyn is a member of Unison, and bestest mates with PCS Union leader heartless Mark Serwotka.

      And the ‘I’PCC in Wales is run by a still not in prison, Course of Justice Perverting criminal lowlife who committed and aided and abetted loads of crime and abuse against me when it was running Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

      … I should have a couple of new posts on my blog by next weekend…..

    • July 9, 2017 2:47 am

      Uuuuuuuurrggh…

      And I’ve just found out that the ‘I’PCC is also involved with CAPITA criminals.

      ‘I’PCC ***employed*** Capita in the noughties… maybe they still do –
      http://www.capita.com/news/news/2006/capita-hr-and-payroll-services-wins-ipcc-contract/

      And the ‘I’PCC are “Contributors” to Capita Conferences –
      http://www.capitaconferences.co.uk/pdfgen.html?filename=EffectiveComplaintsHandlingInThePolice.pdf&code=SMMK
      Don’t you just *love* Public Sector Speak. ;/

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