Wheelchair User Turned Away From Croydon Benefit Assessment Centre

Same Difference

A woman was left “humiliated and disgusted” when she was turned away from Croydon’s only disability assessment centre – because wheelchair users are banned from using the lifts under health-and-safety rules.

The bizarre state of affairs, at a centre run by a private contractor that carries out fitness-to-work tests for the Government, has forced claimants to make a 14-mile round trip to Balham for an assessment.

The assessment service, run by Maximus, is on the first floor of Stephenson House, near East Croydon station.

Although there are lifts in the centre, anyone who cannot climb the stairs to the first floor is banned from using them.

Sandra Hall, 37, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and cannot walk unaided, was turned away from a fitness-to-work evaluation appointment of July 4.

She is required to attend yearly assessments to prove she is not able to work and is therefore entitled to benefits.

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