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Thread: Possible Fit for Work, Telephone WCA.

  1. #1
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Possible Fit for Work, Telephone WCA.

    I wasn't sure which thread to add this to, but decided that it's important enough to deserve a new one.

    I recently received an internal review response to an FoI request about telephone WCA's.
    Whilst still not the information I asked for (as usual) they did state this:
    (My Bolding)
    ... the Department has focused on increasing its capacity and capability to do
    telephone assessments; broadening the range of outcomes that can be provided for its
    claimants. We have now put appropriate quality assurance measures in place, enabling it to
    provide all outcomes following telephone assessments.

    Following a telephone Work Capability Assessment (WCA), Health Care Professionals (HCP)
    are recommending the full range of outcomes to decision makers. This includes Limited
    Capability for Work (LCW), Limited Capability for Work and Work Related Activity (LCWRA)
    and no LCW.
    So that is saying that assessors can now recommend LCW (WRAG) or even fit-for-work from a telephone WCA.

    Note that it doesn't say that they are actually finding anyone FFW, just that assessors can recommend it.

    Obviously if you are found FFW from only a telephone WCA then you should MR/appeal it immediately.
    Not least on the grounds that it could not have been a full assessment; probably on other grounds the same as any F2F assessment.
    Last edited by nukecad; 16-02-21 at 17:00.
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    Hello,

    So is it possible to find out what the new guidelines for the assessors are ?

    Thanks

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    They can't force existing claimants to do a reassessment by phone can they? I understood the situation was that if they could not reach you by phone they would decide your case either 'by the papers' or wait until face-to-face assessments are ready to resume. I was due to be reassessed back in October but not heard from them yet.

    I don't have a landline and my mobile is only known to my bank, mobile phone provider (obv) and a handful of very close family and friends. I will state on the form I don't have a phone, that being so can they demand I give a relatives number or demand I attend a Jobcentre to use a phone there or give me a deadline (eg two weeks) to provide a number with threat of stopping my claim? Surely not!
    Last edited by mrindebt; 17-02-21 at 00:28.

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    I think in principle I like the idea of phone assessments, I find f2f a complete nightmare.

    However I think they should have the same rules applied as paper decisions, if they can recommend SG, then thats what they do, otherwise it should fall back to a f2f, I think WRAG and FFW should only be possible on f2f.

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    Wow - I can’t believe they can actually now find you FFW from a telephone assessment. I did read in some cases of MH they weren’t even considering telephone assessments. Does anyone know what these are ?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by worried33 View Post
    I think in principle I like the idea of phone assessments, I find f2f a complete nightmare.
    I would take a phone assessment and risk fit for work rather than face to face any day. Should have had my F2F assessment a year ago and I'm still worrying when they might restart. I don't see why they can't do this for people with mental health conditions who literally can't do F2F without further risk to their mental health.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy9010 View Post
    So is it possible to find out what the new guidelines for the assessors are ?
    I'll see if I can find anything, but they don't like us knowing.

    My FoI is about the guidlines for the Decision Makers (not the assessors), 6 weeks in I've had a reply, an internal review and reply, and it's back for a second internal review because they keep waffling and giving the wrong stuff rather than giving the information I asked for.
    That's not unusual for the DWP, but I'm also now experienced at their FoI tactics.
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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pau View Post
    Wow - I can’t believe they can actually now find you FFW from a telephone assessment.
    Be careful - Nobody has said that they are finding people FFW from telephone assessments, just that the assessors can recommend it.

    And I have not yet seen that statement anywhere other than in that FoI reply.

    It's then up to the Decision Maker, which is why I have that FoI in about the Decision Makers guidance for telephone WCAs.
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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Rightsnet have now followed up on my FoI, and have confirmation from the DWP:

    https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/welfare...ity-assessment

    Here are two quotes from the DWP that are included in that article:
    Our enhanced capability and improved processes for telephone assessments will now enable us to carry out a second telephone assessment for those claimants who have previously had a telephone assessment, which did not result in a recommendation or decision. In addition, we have also introduced a trial of video assessments and once completed this will be evaluated and a decision made on the feasibility of wider roll out.
    So if you've had a WCA that didn't give a LCWRA decision and said to wait for a F2F you may/will now get another telephone WCA which could also award LCW (or even FFW) rather than waiting for the F2F.

    They are also looking at using video for assessments.

    Should a claimant be unable to undertake a telephone assessment because of their health condition, they will remain on their current award until we are able to gather the evidence needed for a recommendation to be made, or until their benefit is due to end in the case of contributory employment and support allowance.
    So if you are unable to have a telephone assessment you will stay as you are.

    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Izzy9010 View Post
    So is it possible to find out what the new guidelines for the assessors are ?
    There is a new FoI in from Frank Zola asking for the current HCP guidance:
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...tgoing-1115826
    Last edited by nukecad; 19-02-21 at 11:34.
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    Red face

    Hello. My first post here. I had my phone assesment last Monday 22nd February. After half an hour on the phone the person told me she didn't think she was qualified to make a "decission" about my case. Used that word. Decision. So she said she was sorry but will have to postpone my assesment until a Doctor was available. Could be same day, or other week or maybe have to rebook it. Lucky I was phoned just 10 minutes after ending my call with her and was a Dr.
    Spent another hour and a half on phone with him until he said he had enough Information. This was Monday 22nd. Yesterday O received a text to log in on my universal credit account. I have been awarded LCWRA in just one day!! Thought minimum wait was 8 - 12 weeks. So guess the person that does the phone assesment really takes an important role on the decision.

    I wish you luck with your claim. I thought I wouldn't get it cause was 2 people to assess me and the length of 2 hours made me pessimist. I was wrong. So don't lose hope
    Last edited by Peggy; 24-02-21 at 13:58.

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