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DWP Changes To Face-To-Face Assessments For PIP And Other Health Benefits Coming This Month

March 15, 2021

The UK Government has passed legislation which will allow the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to invite health benefit claimants to participate in an assessment by video call.

From March 25, video calls will be an option for DWP health professionals when interviewing and assessing the needs of people making claims for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Face-to-face consultations have been suspended since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown restrictions – these continue to be replaced by telephone and paper-based assessments.

The changes to legislation means that anyone applying for disability or health benefits may be invited to attend either a telephone, face-to-face or video call assessment as part of their application.

Legislation guidance states: “The amendments enable medical examinations and consultations to be conducted as between a claimant and an assessor approved by the Secretary of State in person, by telephone or by video as part of the process for determining entitlement to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit.”

The guidance added: “A full impact assessment has not been produced for this instrument as no, or no significant, impact on the private, voluntary or public sector is foreseen.”

In a letter to Justin Tomlinson MP, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, about the changes to regulations, Dr Stephen Brien, Chair of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) wrote: “These regulations provide immediate legislative comfort for the Department who, in responding to the challenges arising from social distancing requirements that were introduced at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has suspended face-to-face health assessments and is relying on telephony to maintain service delivery.Finance DailyPeople Born 1951-1991 (With No Life Insurance) Should Claim This Benefit In February 2021ReassuredPeople Born 1951 – 1979 Are In For A Treat This Marchby TaboolaSponsored Links

“Over the longer-term, the regulations also provide a legislative framework that will enable the Department and its providers to introduce a richer mix of assessment channels, providing a choice between face-to-face, telephone and video assessments.”138212091369

He added that the addition of video calls as an option “will help to improve customer service by enabling the Department to tailor the assessment channel to meet the needs of different claimants” and “help to ensure the most appropriate channel is used to enable an appropriate outcome for the claimant.”

The DWP has conducted research with claimants about their experience of telephone assessments during the pandemic and that the findings are due to be published in spring 2021.

You can read the Social Security (Claims and Payments, Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit) (Telephone and Video Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 legislation online here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 15, 2021 10:43 am

    Reblogged this on Tory Britain! .

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