Oct 192011

Wheelchair users have to climb a flight of stairs to prove they are disabled enough to get benefits at a centre in Croydon.

Although there are lifts in the disability benefits assessment centre, anyone in a wheelchair or who cannot climb stairs is banned from using them due to health and safety regulations.

Anyone who cannot tackle the 46 step staircase is instead forced to make a 14 mile round trip to Balham because the centre in Cherry Orchard Road is not disabled friendly.

The Atos Healthcare’s Assessment Centre is on the first floor of Stephenson House and is the only place in the borough disabled people can undertake a compulsory workplace capability assessments (WCA) to determine if those suffering illness or incapacity are claiming legitimately.

Croydon Disability Forum (CDF) called the situation “ludicrous”.

Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell has written to Chris Grayling MP, minister for work and pensions, expressing his concerns.

He said: “We need to find a way to make that place fully accessible or find a new place.

“It works as a stop gap but not in the long term. We need a solution. It is ridiculous.”

Read the rest with comments from Your Local Guardian at Croydon