DISABLED people in Glasgow applying for benefits are being sent to an assessment centre located up a flight of stairs.

The centre run by Maximus in the city’s Cadogan Street is one of the main clinics in Scotland used by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to assess if a person is disabled enough to receive Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, or if they should be back at work.

Yesterday, one leading disability charity said the situation showed a “lack of sensitivity” in what would be, for many disabled people, an anxious time.

Bosses at the centre say assessment rooms are all on the ground floor and that a ramp is available for wheelchair users as long as they let Maximus know in advance.

However, that ramp is not accessible for all wheelchairs. Electric chairs are often significantly wider and heavier than self-propelled chairs.

In those cases, the company has to ask those coming for an assessment to use alternative centres.

Bill Scott, of Inclusion Scotland, said: “There are some wheelchairs wider than others. They would have a difficulty with a narrow ramp and that would be quite worrying. Those sort of wheelchairs, there is just no way you could get them in that way.

“It just causes additional distress for disabled people for what is a already a stressful experience where they could lose their benefits.

“It does speak volumes for the care and sensitivity for the people attending the centres.”

A spokesman for Maximus said the centre was in a building owned and operated by the DWP.

“We have a number of ground floor assessments rooms in the Glasgow centre, with a ramp at the front of building to provide wheelchair access to the reception area. Most wheelchairs are able to access the building using the ramp but there are small numbers of non-standard wheelchairs that the ramp is unable to accommodate. When we are made aware of this, we ask those wheelchair users to visit an alternative assessment centre which can accept all sizes of wheelchair. I understand this is a rare occurrence.”

The spokesman apologised for any difficulties this may have caused and said that any costs associated with a visit to an alternative site would be reimbursed.

The Centre for Health and Disability Assessments is the UK subsidiary of American company Maximus, which has had a bad month after revelations from a whistleblower accused the company of dumping shares ahead of a bad performance report.

The former senior PR manager has filed a complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

He told the Mirror that “directors knew of serious problems just months into the contract and still sold millions of pounds worth of shares”.

The PR’s allegations came after he was fired by the company after speaking out about the amount of money being spent on promotions.

He said: “Maximus is a brutal, Wall Street corporation devoid of any humanity and only interested in the US share price.”

Maximus says they have traded in line with regulations.

The National View: A system driven by ideology, not need