Claimants on disability benefits will no longer be required to attend face-to-face assessments. The change also covers health checks for Universal Credit.
From Tuesday 17 March, face to face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for 3 months.
In summary the following is happening:
- Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next 3 months effective on Tuesday 17 March 2020.
- This is being taken as a precautionary measure to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus as the country’s response ramps up in the ‘delay’ phase.
- We will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.
- It affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, and recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
- The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.
- Anyone who has a face-to-face assessment appointment scheduled from Tuesday 17 March onwards does not need to attend and will be contacted to discuss next steps and alternative arrangements, which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments.
- We expect this measure will be in effect for the next 3 months but we will be regularly reviewing the position in line with Public Health advice.
- No further action is required by any claimant as a result of this change. They will be contacted with advice on next steps.
You may find the following links helpful:
DWP press release regarding this announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-to-face-health-assessments-for-benefits-suspended-amid-coronavirus-outbreak
Coronavirus (COVID-19): UK government response: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
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