Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
In IR v SSWP (PIP)  UKUT 374 (AAC) it was decided that the stock letter sent to a claimant notifying him of an appointment with an HCP in respect of PIP was insufficient to warrant a benefit sanction because he failed to attend:
'38. For the reasons already given I do not consider that this is “the language of clear and unambiguous mandatory requirement” (as required by Hooper v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions). It needed to be clear and unambiguous about the mandatory nature of the requirement, e.g.: “YOU MUST ATTEND THIS APPOINTMENT. IF YOU FAIL TO ATTEND WITHOUT GOOD REASON THE DECISION MAKER AT THE DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS WILL DISALLOW YOUR CLAIM."'
On the key passage from the letter:
'29. "...It is important that you attend this appointment. If you fail to attend without good reason the decision maker at the Department for Work and Pensionsis likely to disallow your claim.If you can’t attend please contact our Customer Service Centre straightaway on [phone number to be inserted].”'
Judge Wikeley wrote:
'34. I am not persuaded that the letter imposes a mandatory legal requirement as such. The key passage is that in bold (see paragraph 29 above). The first sentence is that “It is important that you attend this appointment”. This by itself plainly fails the test as laid down in the case law.'
Please provide the current letters used by ATOS and Capita to notify claimants of appointments with HCPs for PIP assessments.
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