How to make suggestions, comments and complaints
The following information can also be found within our How to make suggestions, comments and complaints leaflet, which can be picked up in any of the Consultation Centres.
Independent Assessment Services and your PIP claim
We are Independent Assessment Services. We conduct Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Our job is to help DWP understand how your health condition or disability affects your daily life.
Our aim is to treat you fairly and with respect and dignity throughout the consultation process, making your experience a positive one.
We recognise the benefit of letting you share your own experiences of our service and we are committed to making sure you get the level of service you expect and deserve.
We welcome feedback and comments
If you have had a good experience at your consultation appointment, please let us know so that we can pass on your positive comments to the team members who you met with. You might also have a suggestion about something you think we could improve on.
Simply contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 188 4880 (North of England & Scotland) or 0800 188 4881 (Southern England) to give us your feedback.
We might also ask you to complete a satisfaction survey to make sure we hear your views on how we have done. This will help us make our service better.
Any comments or complaints you make about the service will not affect your claim for PIP in any way. We are always grateful to receive appreciative comments and positive feedback which we pass on to the staff members concerned.
Need extra help reading our documents?
Need extra help reading our documents? Should you need it, we can also provide our How to make suggestions, comments and complaints leaflet in an easy-to-access format. For example, you can ask us to give you the information in braille, in large print, on audio CD or on coloured paper. Please contact our Customer Service Centre to discuss.
Unhappy with the outcome of your claim?
If you are unhappy with the outcome of your claim, speak to DWP. Independent Assessment Services do not make any decision about your claim.
If you think the report or the decision is wrong, or if an error has been made you should contact DWP.
DWP will also be able to advise you of the process to follow if you disagree with their decision.
Reading your assessment report
We are unable to provide you with a copy of your assessment report, but you can request one from DWP once they have reached a decision on your claim. Please contact DWP directly using either of the numbers above.
Unhappy about your assessment experience?
Speak to us. If you feel that we didn’t deliver a satisfactory standard of service during your consultation or while we reviewed your case, please see the following pages for information on how to make a complaint.
How to make a complaint
If you’d like to make a complaint in writing, the feedback form within our How to make suggestions, comments and complaints leaflet will help you to include all the information we need to be able to look at your issue properly. Please remember to tell us your National Insurance number.
Alternatively, you can contact our Customer Service Team on 0800 188 4880 (North of England & Scotland) or 0800 188 4881 (Southern England).
Getting help making a complaint
The staff at our Consultation Centres are trained to help you raise an issue. However, if you feel more comfortable asking somebody independent to make a complaint for you, you can speak to:
- a friend or family member
- Citizens Advice
- Welfare Rights
Please note that we can only respond to one of the people above if we have your written consent to do so.
Returning the feedback form at the back of this leaflet is the easiest way to give your consent, or you can give us a signed letter instead.
A step-by-step guide to our complaint process
If you decide you want to make a complaint, it’s important to understand the process we use to address any problems you might have. Here’s how it works:
- We receive your complaint and register it on our computer systems
- Your allocated Case Officer will write to you to let you know we have received your complaint (within 2 working days)
- We take all complaints seriously and review every one. We aim to respond to your complaint within 20 working days, including those we need to investigate in more detail. However, should our investigations take longer, you will be kept up to date by letter
- You will be sent a Final Response letter, complete with the Case Officer’s phone number. If you are satisfied with our response then no further action is required
- If you disagree with our response please contact your Case Officer to tell us why you think we are wrong. A Senior Manager will then review your case to see if anything has been missed and start a further investigation if appropriate
- If we decide that no further investigation is required, we will write to you to confirm our decision
- Should you still be unhappy, we will send you a letter detailing what you can do next – this includes information on how to contact the Independent Case Examiner (ICE)
Requesting an independent review
If you’ve been through our complaints process, you’ve received a final response and you still aren’t happy, you may ask the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) to look at your complaint. The ICE will act as an impartial referee and if they think we should have done more to help you, they will ask us to put it right.
You must contact the ICE within 6 months of getting our final response and you must also send them a copy of your original complaint letter or email. You will not be asked to pay them for their services.
To get in touch with the Independent Case Examiner call 0800 414 8529 or go to www.ind-case-exam.org.uk
Please note, the ICE cannot look at anything to do with legal matters and government policy, nor will they look at benefit or maintenance decisions – you are able to appeal these elsewhere.