PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE PAYMENT assessments will no longer require people from Moray to travel to Inverness following a concerted campaign by Moray’s MP.
The decision has been taken to allow such assessments to be conducted locally and follows Mr Ross’ encouraging ministers to acknowledge the difficulties claimants from his constituency have to travel so far.
Confirming that new arrangements will be puts in place, Mr Ross said: “I wrote to the Department for Work and Pensions after being contacted by several constituents who had difficulties getting themselves to Inverness for an assessment. The journey can be an hour by car and substantially longer by public transport to get to the centre.
“While the initial response to my calls accepted the concerns, it did not provide a tangible outcome so I went back again to highlight the difficulties many people find in using public transport to get to Inverness, at a time when they are already anxious about the assessment process.
“I’m delighted to say that the minister has now informed me that the department and the assessment provider have agreed to change the rules which apply to where people have to travel to undertake their assessments.
“The vast majority of claimants from Moray will now automatically qualify for a home assessment with all others offered a home visit if they choose not to travel to Inverness.
“This is great news and I am grateful that the Minister and the assessment company have listened to concerns and taken action, recognising that Moray is a large and rural area. It also shows what an MP working hard with government colleagues can deliver for local people here in Moray.”