How far have you had to travel to a PIP Assessment Centre? Over 300 miles then read this...?

Posted , 3 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi all,

We all know people are being asked to visit PIP Assessment Centres, but how far have they asked you to travel?

This question arose on the Benefits and Work website and attracted a lot of answers. You can see for yourself by clicking on the following Resources Link on Benefits for this website, and go down the list until you reach Benefits and Work website.

Resource link:

This is one of the most Extreme Cases I have ever heard

What your about to read is entirely true, consider this when ATOS asks you to visit an Assessment Centre.

A claimant has informed Benefits and Work that they had to travel a 700 mile round trip. This straight away is going to affect your PIP scores.

The Claimant in question had to walk 400 metres, then catch a bus followed by a two trains and then a taxi. This claimant done all this because they were very vulnerable and did not want to lose their PIP claim because she had been threatened to have her claim rejected.

Now considering the above, Capita had previously cancelled her appointment three times.

That is a very real sign of desperation.

You may ask yourself why would ATOS or the DWP make a claimant travel this far an assessment. It is due to the way you are chosen by a computer system that does not suit it's purpose. If an assessment centre was just 2 miles away, you would expect to be seen at that centre, but the DWP computer systems are that old and unsuitable for the jobs - so they give you the next appointment which could be anywhere in the UK. The DWP does say that their centres are within 90 miles from Claimants, but just how true is this?

And just look at the cost that this lady must have paid to get to her assessment. It is shocking to say the least.

Let's hope we don't hear of extreme conditions like this one, which is supposed to be for "A Better Britain"...



1 like, 7 replies


7 Replies

  • Posted

    My goodness, I have no complaints then! My assessment was fairly local (35 mile round trip) BUT it was a devil of a job getting to it. The car park was conveniently placed opposite the centre. It was on the top floor accessable by lift but a heck of a walk afterwards. It was also more than 20 metres from the main door to the lift and then 25 metres to the consulting room from the waiting area - Oh yes they'd mapped it all out beforehand. I was very ill at the time so I wasnt faking any pain.

    I don't walk with a stick because my hands are useless and clawed, and my upperbody strength is non existant so it was remarked upon that I walked very slow - No sh... Sherlock!

    Fortunately, my husband took a day off work and dropped me at the entrance, or else I would have had to walk from the car park and that would have meant I would become a statue and unable to move as any change of temperature renders me unable to move

    That's how I failed my mobility by simply attending! So I reckon everyone that attended that day also failed too. A lady with a stick and a lady being held up by two people

    The assessor did not apply the safely,reliably,or timely manner in the descriptor, only that I managed to get to her room and it didn't matter how I did it.

    How on earth I managed to get out of that place was nothing short of a miracle and by the time I got home I felt so ill

    20 metre rule is unfair and unjust. You cannot base someones daily mobility on a walk to the consulting room. In my experience, justice prevailed but how much money are the tribunals costing the tax payer on top of everything else.

    My mind boggles really


    • Posted

      Hi Sweety,

      Even a 35 mile round trip is long enough in many cases and at least your husband could drop you off outside. Considering what you put in your post wouldn't it be easier if someone pushed you around? I am thinking about all the corridors you mentioned.

      I can use a Quad stick but only very short distances and I have to be having a very good day as well, and even then I am unsteady, my wife normally grabs my other arm. And, that is just going from our car parked on the drive to our front door, I do not even feel steady holding my wife, so she lets me grab hold of the handrail which is about 2-3 metres from the front door. 

      For me to do what you achieved on your own, I would never even do the corridors, I would literally collapse from chronic pain in my legs and back, and be out of breath. So, in my books you done very well.

      I used get by with just a standard stick, then the Quad foot stick, then along came the four wheeled push along seat, that wasn't too bad at the beginning but it got to a stage where I was talking 2-3 steps then stopping for a rest. That was when my doctor said you really need a wheelchair.

      A Wheelchair and me!

      I find it funny now, but not at the time, my daughter was young at the time and had an electric bike, and I borrowed an electric scooter (bad idea!) we were on the path, chances of me getting run over should be nil, but my nerve disorder causes problems with steering, my right arm is stronger than my left, and it spasms - of course I kept on steering out towards the road... That was not the worst part.. when we got to our drive, my daughter went in first and then I followed her, but because my right arm pulls inwards, I put about a 9 inch scratch on the black car bumper, so the white primer was showing through. I did try going backwards to get away from the car but my eye to hand coordination once again caused a deeper and longer scratch! What made it worse was it was a week old Motability Car. My wife phoned them stating what I had done, because obviously it was my fault - but Motability said it would come under 'normal wear and tear' unless bare metal was showing then it would need repairing. That was my first and last try on an electric scooter!

      Now, I have to be pushed around by my wife which is not easy for her, considering she is only 5'3" and I'm over 6' and not that slim either! Even my sons struggle to push me around, they try and time their jobs so they can take time off to get me to appointments, which in my case is quite a few a month. I just checked my diary it's only the 14th of January yet I still have 3 hospital appointments and 1 extended doctors appointment and we are only in the first month!

      My mobility is serverly impaired from Dystonia, my left foot is pulled in and twisted, I also drag it - if I try to walk I am actually putting 90% of my body weight on one leg and just 10% on my left, which I drag.

      Sweety, you are definately stronger than me in the legs.

      I am going to have a fun time if the Assessment Centre for me is more than 20 miles away! I'm not even allowed outside a 20 mile radius of our bungalow. Now, your probably thinking why is that?

      A couple of years ago I had a condition called "Intestinal ischemia and infarction", which basically means I was dying from the inside out, over 50cm of my intestines was removed on the Tuesday. By the Thursday I should have been on the mend, but instead I become much worse throughout that day, in the end I was vomitting black bile and unable to sign the consent sheet for an Emergency Operation - The surgeon I remember him saying we need authorisation ASAP. They phoned my wife and she gave them the okay, but she was told I may not make it through the operation. My wife rushed to the hospital straight away, and waited for about 7 hours. They found where they had cut my intestine previously, had started to also die (as in gangrene) off, and been touching my liver (partly gangrene), so part of that was removed as well. I had many outpatient appointments after that, because the full recovery period was 10 months or more. I was already under the Oncologist for cancer which I had about 2 years before, and was still in remission for, I was signed out the remission period last March.

      Now, for the 20 miles radius issue, the premises we live in has been adapted a lot, which includes a bidet/toilet which was bought through a DFG with continous servicing contract at £170 a year. I now suffer from chronic IBS, due to the gangrene intestine operation which I nearly died twice from, if you look it up many people actually die from it, because they do not inform their doctors - with me, I was in severe stomach pains and stuck in hospital for nearly a month. I still suffer now...

      My upper body is not that bad, but my head continuously jerks to the left and down, because of this spasm I have 6 BoTox Injections in to the tense muscles which is like being stung by loads of bees, the Neurologist must get the injection in the right place even with my head spasming all the time, one side effect is if the wrong muscle is hit, I have to stay in hospital and fed via a tube for a minimum of 2 weeks.

      Those tribunals caused a loss to the DWP by £4 million in the past 12 months alone. ESA assessments are costing Tax payers £115 - £135 a time. The idea of introducing PIP was to safe money, however it back-fired on IDS and cost £800,000 million so far!

      If you look a the state of the NHS, I spend many times being rushed into hospital in a few months, each call out is £250 a time!

      And, Sweety they call this "a better Britain" - I think that is wearing a bit thin now, we've gone back in time to the Thatcher years!




    • Posted

      Oh Les, you are in a mess.

      The full extent of my problems I won't go into but my insides are turning to stone (Not literally, I haven't looked at a gorgon) But my insides work occasionally, my esophagus never, my major organs take it in turns and my other bits and bobs come out in sympathy so I liken my disease to a statue as all my tissues are thickening, inside and out

      I do try and do things, very often making myself much worse. I can see me being put back to work in the freezer dept of a local supermarket - now that would finish me off

      It's the disgraceful treatment being dished out by the powers that be that make the whole thing disasterous for diaabled people

      My hubby works, my daughter too so going out on my own isn't an option  The only way I can get from A -B is by car and then it depends where I'm attempting to go. I have hospital appts for each of my organs with numerous consultants at a hospital 30 miles from my home

      Yes I did very well on the day of my assessment - too well it seems. But I think if I has crawled to the room I still wouldn't have satisfied the descriptors and bu all accounts from the comments \i heard from others that attended that day, my assessor wasn't too harsh

      I should have demanded a home assessment but my stubborn nature took over and I guess that was my downfall

      Would I do it again? .... No I wouldn't. I won't go simple as! If they want to see me they will have to come here

      Take care of yourself and my best regards to you

    • Posted

      Hi Sweety,

      It was my own doctor that noticed how much my mobility had declined last year. She asked me to stand up and lower myself on to an examination bed. She seen how much I was struggling with the help of my wife, so the doctor grabbed just one leg, and gawd did it hurt, she did not realize my legs, ankles and feet were than swollen, even just touching them is so painful.

      After examining me, she asked how did I get in and out of bed at night. I thought oh gawd, here we go - I said, I had an upside-down U-shaped bracket on the bed which I had to pull myself up, and my wife pulled on my other arm - she done her back in many times. So, my doctor contacted the District Nurses to give me an electric bed, very similar to hospital beds, but not as wide.

      Sweety, do you mind me asking you a question, did you fill in the PIP Award Application Form yourself or did you have help from your husband, or someone else?

      Well, I hope you win your case, I will keep an eye out for your report!

      I like the part about would you do it again, what you managed to do was incredible to me, considering your ailments. I know how you feel when you are unable to do certain things.

      People on these forums say I come across to them with a positive attitude, I probably do - but it is how I cope from day to day. But in October last year I had a chronic breakdown, and my family seen me as a totally different person, basically I had bottled it all up for decades and just couldn't cope anymore. I went to my doctors and after another 2 day appointment he put me on Sertraline, okay they have helped but they are also fatal, and I need to come off them, because they do not mix well with the Class "A" drugs I am on, I did ask the doctor at the time and he said they were fine. Obviously, he had not read what they cause - so I am getting my Neurologist Consultant to confirm what I have been told on here.

      These forums can be life savers - because you meet many people that are either have similar disorders or been on certain medication.

      Why can't life be easy, eh?

      Anyway, good luck,


  • Posted

    Good job I'm not doing my triathlon today LOL. I've spent ages on here today - one of those days!

    I guess you missed the outcome of my tribunal which I posted back in November. I did win my case much to my relief but I'm not crowing about it because as yet I haven't heard anything from DWP - not even an award letter. I'm being good  and being patient as they told me it's taking 6 - 8  weeks to process

    The panel at the tribunal took 15 mins to to question me. The decision came soon after the questioning stopped. I was lucky that the doc on the panel knew all about my condition and the questions were really about the last time a made a bus trip or what footwear I wore. It was fairly obvious they thought my being there was a complete waste of their time and it was secretly awarded before I walked in

    The PIP form, I filled in. It was just about readable so what I couldn't fit into the mecilessly small boxes, I typed out and printed off. It took me 2 weeks and I even got a reminder. Most of the answers I gave were just about tenable, looked like a spider had gone hiking all over it. 

    I'm fairly good at filling in forms, well I used to be and since the condition hasn't yet rendered me incapable of being literate (Even though I hit a few duff keys now and then) I took my time and did what I could when I felt able to do so. Posting the damn thing was more of a problem. I took copies of everything which meant asking my family to do it for me and of course between work they fit it in.

    Anyway's I musn't have made such a good job of it soince they sent me for an assessment. The whole drama began when I didn't get what I had before

    Mandatory Reconsideration was a waste of time as it came back unchanged despite letters from consultants and a professor

    The main problem was the assessor didn't know anythig about my condition or how it affected me and chose to base her points on lesser ailments - even refered to me as having "Hard Skin" Nothing about my lack of circulation or anything that restricts my mobility. My consultant professor was livid so was my GP

    I found not making too much about the law, the DWP or the Health Professional sort of went in my favour when I applied for a tribunal. I didn't blame them for making the decisions about me, even though deep down I felt like slating the lot of them

    I'm 55 years of age. The disease I have in textbooks says that anyone suffering from this disorder may live up to 20 years. I reckon my time has expired by some 5 years already so I am a medical phenomenon in terms of this disease. I fully intend to stick around long enough to get my award or maybe that's the problem - they're hoping I pop my cloggs before I get it

    You have to laugh and yes, stay positive!


    • Posted

      Well, fairplay Sweety, you haven't lost your sense of humor, good on you! At least you can still have a laugh, even though secretly we all hide pain.

      That post I found very funny though. lol

      I did not realise you had been to a tribunal, you must have posted that when I went off the site for awhile with Chronic Depression. I was asked why did I go on a health website, which could be causing depression. It had nothing to do with this site whatsoever. I wrote out a 4 page list of things that were going around in my head, and believe me a website was nowhere to be seen. Stupid doctor..

      You're 55, well I am not far behind you - 52 last December... Over half a century is a good age, apart from us falling to

      I suppose you were one of those breakdancers in the good old 80's? LOL Spinning on your head.

      Well, I don't have a disease, mines a disorder and I've never seen an age limit on it. Last month, I was having BoTox injections and my wife and I were sat next to a woman also waiting for her injections for cervical dystonia, why they call it that I don't know because it is your neck!rolleyes Anyway, we were chatting away like you do in waiting rooms and the woman said how old she was, 83 and you would not have thought it. Obviously, her Dystonia was not Generalised like mine, because she could walk fine. Wish I was a spring chicken like her! She was from the Slad Valley, a very nice area of The Cotswolds.

      I guess you got plenty of wear and tear in your cloggs yet then! They say the waiting is usually good news, so I hope it is for you!

      Funny you saying about it looked like a spider had walked all over it. I think my wife is scared of them now, she got bit by a False Widow Spider back last year on the foot, you could actually see where it stuck its fangs in her foot, her foot turned blue, then purple to black - like it had been bruised it spread quite a distance to her ankle, before the antibiotics kicked in.. her blood pressure went over 250 and was on the verge of being admitted to hospital. It took a good 3 weeks to clear up.

      Well, it's been nice chatting to you, Sweety - good idea staying positive! I have days when I'm quite I mean in real life, not on here - but then people keep asking me if I am okay! lol I say "Yes", most of the time deep in thought.

      A friend of mine gave me some food for thought today, so I am going to design something along those lines. I used to do graphic work years ago, and everyone in our family is creative in arts.... takes my mind off other things.

      All the best,



  • Posted


    I had the same email too had to read it twice to thinking I was seeing things unbelievable what's going on now the nasty party ( tories ) really hate and I mean hate disabled and sick people with vengeance we are seen as a drain on society and the truth is they want us all dead may sound harsh criticism but I read between the lines of this cruel government.

    The Germans did the same thing during the the war and got away with it for five years

    Sorry everyone if it's strong and powerful and upsetting

    Regard a very angry



Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up