As we carry out the Work Capability Assessment on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, over the next few days we’ll be running a series of blogs that will help you find out more about the assessment process and what to expect before, during and after your assessment. Just read on for our first blog and find out more about what to expect before your assessment.
Before your assessment:
On behalf of Jobcentre Plus, we will send you a questionnaire to complete about your illness or disability. You should complete and send this back to us, at one of our regional administration centres, where our staff record all correspondence we receive from you.
A healthcare professional will then look at all the information you have sent us. If you can you should send in with your completed questionnaire copies of any medical evidence, notes or certificates.
Sometimes we ask your doctor or the medical professional that you have identified in your questionnaire to send us some further medical evidence. We only do this when we think that we can advise the Department for Work and Pensions’ decision maker that, based on all the medical information, you do not need a face to face assessment.
Who needs a face to face assessment?
Most people need to have a face to face assessment as part of their claim. The face to face assessment is specifically designed to find out about how your illness or disability affects you in your everyday life. It won’t be the same as an examination carried out by the doctor or consultant who treats your condition. A fully qualified and specially trained healthcare professional who works for Atos Healthcare will carry out your assessment.
Arranging an appointment:
If you need to have a face to face assessment, we’ll call you to arrange a convenient date and time for you to attend. You’ll receive an appointment letter with a contact number and information on how to find the assessment centre. If we can’t contact you by phone we will send you a letter with an appointment date and time.
If you are not able to make your appointment, you can call us to rearrange it. We are not allowed to rearrange appointments with you more than once. If you cannot attend your rearranged appointment, we will send your information back to Jobcentre Plus and they will tell you if you can rearrange your appointment again.
We can usually help if you notify us of any problems, requests or special needs:
Please let us know if you:
• Are going to have problems getting to the assessment centre.
• Are unable to come for your assessment on the date and at the time shown in your letter. We need to know why you are unable to attend and arrange another date for your assessment.
• Need a sign language interpreter. We can provide one for you, but please let us know no later than two days before your assessment.
• Need a language interpreter. We can provide one for you, but please let us know no later than two days before your assessment. Or you can bring a friend or relative who can translate for you, as long as they are at least 18 years old.
• Need help at the assessment centre or will have specific needs during the assessment.
• Can only do the assessment with a healthcare professional of the same sex, perhaps for cultural or religious reasons. We’ll try our best to provide one for you, but this may not always be possible.
Tomorrow we will look at what you should bring to your assessment, and what happens during it.