The DWP has begun testing the feasibility of creating a single assessment for personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA), the government has confirmed this week.
Responding to a question about whether the DWP “have opened consultation on merging Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance assessments” Baroness Buscombe, parliamentary under-secretary at the DWP responded:
“In their responses to the 2016 Improving Lives: Work, Health and Disability Green Paper consultation and through several other forums, stakeholders have raised concerns about the feeling of duplication across the current assessment processes. We have therefore been exploring options to reduce this, and make improvements to the customer experience. By testing the feasibility of a single assessment for Employment and Support Allowance/Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment we can seek to understand if it will improve the assessment process for our customers, and ensure that they still get the right decision.
“The design of the feasibility test will be informed by existing evidence and through our continued engagement with external stakeholders and disabled people themselves using existing forums, between now and over the course of Summer 2019. Beyond this we are continuing to work with stakeholders on other improvements to the assessment process, including the introduction of an integrated service, and reform of the Work Capability Assessment.”