Survival Guide For Doctor's Home Visit
Important information for anyone claiming or receiving
Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance
This information is based on a guide originally produced by DIAL UK and distributed by LASA on their website www.rightsnet.org.uk
Tameside Council's Welfare Rights Service gratefully acknowledges the help of both organisations in making the information available. We have made every effort to ensure that the information is correct at the date shown above.
If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decides they want a report from one of their Doctor's (known as an Examining Medical Practitioner or EMP) you should be notified in advance of the time and date of the examination and the name of the visiting doctor
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidelines say 10 days notice in writing should be given. If the doctor turns up unannounced, or at too short notice for you to arrange for someone to be with you, you are entitled to refuse to see them until an appointment has been made. In certain circumstances you have the right to request that a different doctor from the one named visit you.
If possible, have someone with you during the examination; this could be a friend or family member
Make sure that the person stays with you when the doctor arrives and remains with you throughout the whole examination. You have the right to have someone with you during the examination. Either you or your friend should note how long the doctor takes over the examination, any medical checks that are made and any comments by the doctor. Keep these notes safe as you may well need them in the future.
If you require an interpreter, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should be able to provide one if you let them know in advance. If you ask someone to interpret for you make sure that they are capable of properly interpreting on your behalf. It would not be in your interests to proceed with the medical examination if you do not have access to an interpreter who is competent to properly interpret things for you.
The doctor may want to perform a physical examination
Do not let the doctor browbeat you into doing something that you know you cannot do or that will cause you pain or damage your health.
Be truthful, but do not be bullied or intimidated into saying things that you know are not strictly correct, for example under estimating your needs.
On the other hand do not overplay your problems as the doctor may suspect that you are not as disabled as you really are!!
You will be asked to sign a statement which is your own description of your care and mobility needs during the examination the doctor should have been recording your statement about your disabilities
When you sign, you are confirming that the statement recorded is correct. You are not signing to say that the doctor has been to visit you or signing so that the doctor can be paid. Only sign the statement once you have read it or have had it read back to you. If you do not agree with any of the information written, say so and ask the doctor to change things. There is a separate section of the report form where the Doctor gives her/his own opinion about your disabilities. The Doctor is entitled to reach a different opinion from you, but should not try to persuade you to change your statement so that it agrees with that opinion.
If you are still not happy with the changes to the statement or the doctor will not make any alterations, you can refuse to sign the form.
If this happens make a note of what has happened and seek advice. You may also wish to contact the Medical Services section of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to explain things.
If you have any complaints about the doctor's manner or attitude, or the way in which the examination was carried out, contact the Medical Services section of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who can advise you on the complaints procedure
You are entitled to complain if you are unhappy about the examination; there is an official complaints procedure. Registering a complaint will not adversely affect your claim and your complaint will help identify how many doctors are not performing the examinations properly. Your complaint will count.
If you are unhappy with a decision on your claim for Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, whether or not you have had a visit by an EMP, you can challenge the decision
You have the right to challenge the decision of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) but only have one month from the date of the decision. So, don't delay, act as soon as you can and get advice.
If you want to know more about benefits contact your local office of Tameside Council's Customer Services Centres
A directory of information and advice providers is available Telephone 0845 608 1122 Minicom 0845 609 6677