It seems the games have begun.

Blogger Jayne Linney has published an account of what happened when new Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessor Capita telephoned to tell her a representative wanted to call at her home to carry out an assessment… just 90 minutes from the time of the call.

You can read her story on her own blog site, but her advice for others is well worth repeating here:

“It appears it is not uncommon for Capita to turn up on your doorstep without warning, to carry out a PIP assessment.

“If this happens to you or someone you know, I suggest you do as we have, refuse to let them in and insist they follow their procedure which states:

You will receive a letter with an appointment for a face to face consultation or  member of our booking team may contact you by phone to arrange this with you.  (their emphasis)

“I was hoping Capita weren’t going to be another ATOS but…it seems the games are under way!”

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  1. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady September 18, 2014 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    I rang Capita head office and eventually spoke to Heather Williams (PA to the CEO of Capita) I asked her why the company were turning up on peoples doorsteps and giving them 2 hours notice for a PIP assessment (I mentioned no names, this was simply a generic enquiry)
    The conversation went something like this…

    Me ” Can I just confirm, that if a Capita employee turns up on the doorstep of a claimant who needs a PIP assessment and the claimant maintains that they have received no correspondence and/or a telephone call advising them of a forthcoming visit, that there is no obligation on the claimant to allow them entry”

    Heather Williams (HW) “Well we would hope that the claimant would see us….”

    Me “You would hope!. Can I just point out a couple of things, whilst I appreciate that Capita are a private Ltd company, it should be remembered that that they are receiving PUBLIC money to carry out these assessments and secondly, they are dealing with people who are ill and vulnerable. I find it extremely unpalatable that Capita employees, paid from the public purse are turning up on peoples doorsteps unannounced.”

    HW “obviously, if it was not convenient for the claimant to see us we would not force the issue”

    Me “Well it may be obvious to you Ms Williams, but it does not necessarily follow that it would be obvious to those who are ill or vulnerable. May I make you aware that NO ONE has rights of entry without consent; even the police need to get a search warrant, signed by a magistrate at an ex parte hearing before entry can be gained, unless of course there is danger to life and limb.
    Another thing I wish to bring to your attention is this, the CEO of Capita is vicariously liable for the actions of his or her employees.


    I would strongly urge you to advise him or her of this and inform him or her that adequate confirmation of a visit should be undertaken. As I am sure you can appreciate, these sort of incidents can be very distressing for claimants.”

    HW ” I will certainly pass your comments on to the CEO”

    Me “thank you”

    Call ends

  2. Kyle Anderson September 18, 2014 at 5:54 pm - Reply

    or member of our booking team may contact you by phone to arrange this with you…. Is that not what calling 90s min before could constitute Or are you legally obligated a letter FIRST? Can they not immediately stop your benefit for refusing???

  3. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady September 18, 2014 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    Kyle, I’m no expert (I’m sure those who are, will be on here later to provide their advice/opinion) but you know if someone rings me and says I’m XYZ from 123, I say ” sorry, I don’t discuss or give out private information over the ‘phone. Please put your request in writing” You are not legally obliged to speak to them over the ‘phone and besides which it is much better to have any communications in writing, otherwise, unless you record the conversation it becomes a case of he said/she said.

    • les mason September 18, 2014 at 8:57 pm - Reply

      having had lots of dealings with ATOS in which letters etc were lost ?? i would think it is reasonable to ask for a written confirmation..many people are being conned/robbed with conmen/women turning up on their doorstep claiming to be from gas/electric etc.I would think any Health Company concerned in this type of work should realise they are dealing with sick and vulnerable people, but as pointed out would this go back to DWP who would impose sanctions which you cannot appeal against,,I think the reason they are probably using this method is to try and catch people out ,,ie “we called but you were out ,,you cant be that ill”,,

      • thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady September 18, 2014 at 10:04 pm - Reply

        You’ve hit the nail on the head and isn’t it interesting that Crapita ,who are also responsible for sending TV licensing goons to peoples doors, use exactly the same tactics with their enforcement officers.

      • Michele Witchy Eve September 19, 2014 at 4:58 pm - Reply

        You make a valid point there, Les. If this just rocking up to the doorstep by Capita becomes more widely known how long can it be before some nefarious sods realise what a good scam this could be.

  4. Richard Waugh September 18, 2014 at 8:46 pm - Reply

    Just don’t give the b*****ds your number in the first place, not illegal to not have a phone……

  5. david pearce September 19, 2014 at 6:33 am - Reply

    standing at your door with a stopwatch and timing how long it takes to answer the door. Assessing those with MH issue who say they have issues talking to strangers ‘oh but you answered the door and spoke to us’ etc. Not that I’m cynical or anything

  6. Mr.Angry September 19, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Here we go again new company new rules, let’s watch this space, I am sure Mike’s blogs will be packed with stories like these within the short term. IDS will be negotiating with his coven of witches over the melting pot (Ester Mcvile hanging from the ceiling like a bat) and conjure up some more life-threatening practices for his army of soldiers to carry out against the sick and the poor.

  7. royboxer September 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    I had a call 2.8.14 telling me I had an assessment on 3.8.14 in Cardiff, about 15 miles away. I went and when I arrived at the building the guy on reception had no record of me. He phoned upstairs and they allowed me to go up. I forgot to mention that an hour after my phone call my wife had a text message informing her if my appointment (data protection) . When I went to the 5th floor this was the first time I had seen any mention of Crapita. They told me that the person who was supposed to do my assessment wasn’t based there anymore. It was a quiet day for them and they managed to find somebody to carry out my assessment. She couldn’t find my claim to read about my condition and after about 20 minutes they asked me whether I knew my pip number, I said no, but I knew my NI No. She found my details and the assessment went ahead. When it finished she gave me an envelope and address label to take to my G.P. for him to send a report. My surgery were horrified, we don’t do that, they have to make an official request for info and at a fee. Anyway on the 10th I received two big white Crapita envelopes one inviting me to an assessment on 3.8.14 at 11.30 and another inviting me 3.8.14 at 12.20.

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