As we conduct Work Capability Assessments on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions, we’ve been running a series of blogs that are designed to help you find out more about the assessment process. Yesterday we blogged about what to expect before your assessment. Today, we’re blogging about what might be helpful to consider in preparing for your face to face assessment and what to expect during it. And on Monday, we’ll be blogging about what happens afterwards. Please read on for more.
What to bring to your assessment:
Please bring with you your appointment letter and:
• Your passport or three other different types of identification, such as a birth certificate, driving licence, utility bill.
• Any hospital appointment or admission letters.
• Any tablets or other current medication, such as inhalers.
• Any medical aids, such as walking aids, hearing aids, glasses and contact lenses.
How long is the assessment?
Each assessment is different and we need to make sure that every customer receives the individual time they need. We’ll do our best to start your assessment at the right time. If it’s delayed for any reason, the receptionist will let you know.
You may notice people who arrive after you being called to their assessment before you are. This is because different healthcare professionals do different types of assessment at the centre.
Who can I bring to the assessment?
We encourage you to bring a relative, carer or companion along with you as well. We find that a companion can often help you to provide additional information about how your condition affects you. Some customers prefer companions to wait in the waiting room and others prefer to have them come into the assessment – the choice is yours. You just need to let the healthcare professional know what you would like before you start your assessment.
If you’d prefer, a member of our staff can be present in the assessment with you.
If you need to bring your children with you, please bring someone who can look after them while you are having your assessment.
At your assessment:
At your assessment, a fully qualified and specially trained healthcare professional will look at how your illness or disability affects you in everyday life.
As such, it may be helpful if you think about the following before your assessment:
• Any relevant information and key dates in your personal medical history.
• How does your medical condition affect you in daily life? What are you able to do and how do you do it?
• Does your condition vary day-to-day or over periods of time? What are good days and bad days like?
• What is the difference between what you can do and can’t do?
• If you have a condition that affects your mental health, please try and tell us how this affects your daily living.
During the assessment, we’ll ask you questions about your medical condition, as well as your daily activities. We may also need to conduct:
• Blood pressure, sight or hearing tests.
• A physical examination, where you may be asked to remove some outer layers of clothing.
• Limb examination, which may involve some limited stretching, standing and bending – but don’t worry, we won’t ask you to do anything that causes you undue discomfort.
You will only be asked to take part in these tests or physical examinations if they relate to your medical condition.
Remember that these tests or physical examinations won’t be the same as an examination carried out by the doctor or consultant who treats your condition.
Claiming Travel Expenses:
If you have to travel to an assessment, Atos Healthcare will pay your travel expenses.
You can claim the cost of public transport from your current address or your fuel costs if you travel by car. You can also claim for the cost of parking if there’s no parking available at the assessment centre.
To claim your travel expenses, you will need to bring your receipts with you and fill in an expenses form at your assessment centre. You will also need to provide us with your bank name, sort code and account number.
Unfortunately we can’t to pay expenses in advance or in cash, or into a Post Office® card account.
Travelling by taxi:
Please contact us if you can only travel by taxi. You may be able to claim taxi fares if you send us a letter from a medical professional who’s treating you, explaining why your medical condition means that you can’t travel by public transport.
Unfortunately, we cannot reimburse you for any charges from your medical professional for providing a letter. We’ll contact you if we can pay your taxi fares. Please don’t travel by taxi without agreement.
On Monday, we’ll be blogging about what happens after your assessment. If you have a question about your Work Capability Assessment that hasn’t been answered here, please make sure to read our latest blog tomorrow.