Atos changes name to 'Independent Assessment Services'

Atos Healthcare, one of the 2 companies that assesses people for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), has changed its name to 'Independent Assessment Services' (IAS).

The change of name won't make any difference to your claim, so don't be concerned if you receive a letter from IAS, instead of Atos.

Assessment companies

IAS is one of 2 companies contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to undertake PIP assessments across the UK since 2013.

The other is Capita, so depending on which part of the country you live in, you will hear from one of these companies once you've made your PIP claim.

Making a successful claim

Despite the DWP's PIP guidance saying people with Parkinson's should be assessed on the supporting evidence they provide alongside their claim if this is of high quality, we know people are regularly receiving invitations to face-to-face assessments.

To make sure your evidence is of high quality, it should be from someone who knows your condition well, and can give detailed information about how Parkinson's affects you day to day.

Think about the health professional who knows your condition best. This could be your nurse specialist, physiotherapist or neurologist.

Ask them to provide information about how your condition affects your ability to do day-to-day things, rather than just confirming that you have Parkinson's.

"The lady who was conducting the assessment said she was a qualified nurse, but did not know what Parkinson's was."

Wife of a person with Parkinson's

PIP: A failure for people with Parkinson's

We continue to hear stories of people being invited for unnecessary face-to-face assessments, by assessors with a variable knowledge of Parkinson's.

For example, the wife of a person with Parkinson's recently told us: "The lady who was conducting the assessment said she was a qualified nurse, but did not know what Parkinson's was."

Parkinson's UK Senior Policy and Campaigns Adviser Phil Reynolds said: "PIP has been a complete failure for people with Parkinson’s, many of whom are losing access to vital financial support because of unfair criteria and assessors' mixed knowledge of Parkinson's.

"The DWP and the assessment companies all have a part to play in fixing this mess, by urgently improving assessors' knowledge and redesigning the PIP assessment to make it fit for purpose."

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