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The DWP have announced the suspension of all face-to-face sickness and disability assessments for three months from Tuesday 17 March. The suspension covers personal independence payment, employment and support allowance and universal credit.

Anyone who has a face-to-face assessment appointment scheduled from Tuesday 17 March onwards does not need to attend..

The full statement from the DWP is as follows:

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next 3 months, the government announced today.

The temporary move, effective on Tuesday 17 March 2020, 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.

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

As we move into the next phase of our response to coronavirus, it is right we take steps to protect those with health problems.

Temporarily suspending face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits will allow us to ensure we continue to provide a safety net for those in need, while removing unnecessary risk of exposure to this disease.

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 can also read the statement on the gov.uk website.

Comments  

#7 sleepyhead 2020-04-28 17:38
Quoting sleepyhead:
I had been receiving PIP for the past 5 years had to submit a new application in October 2019. Still awaiting the face to face assessment and no appointment has been made. My PIP stopped being paid to me in January. I won't hold my breath on receiving any communication as they haven't bothered to contact me since they got my application in November. I know that the DWP scanned all my forms and accompanying evidence which they forwarded to the assessors in December. The system was already cracked, it is now smashed.



UPDATE 28/4/20... PIP success! I have at long last been awarded PIP Enhanced rate for both parts. This has been confirmed by telephone to the DWP. Awaits a letter. This means I get to keep my Motability car which they have very kindly allowed us to keep although my original PIP payments ceased in January. Just need to get my Blue Badge back for when I am allowed out from the Lockdown!! Many tanks to Benefits & Works guides in getting me through the process.
+2 #6 Moo 2020-03-18 22:26
Quoting sleepyhead:
I had been receiving PIP for the past 5 years had to submit a new application in October 2019. Still awaiting the face to face assessment and no appointment has been made. My PIP stopped being paid to me in January.I won't hold my breath on receiving any communication as they haven't bothered to contact me since they got my application in November. I know that the DWP scanned all my forms and accompanying evidence which they forwarded to the assessors in December. The system was already cracked, it is now smashed.


:cry:
I also made an application in November and still haven't heard anything other than a text to say they had received my paperwork.
What are people supposed to do, as on calling the DWP helpline, was told simply they had a backlog and there was a delay. The office couldn't say when I should here about face to face assessment..... now they aren't doing. Told to hold and wait. The most vulnerable in society claim these benefits, as seen on TV...the benefits system was designed to help and support people , not add to their anxieties and stresses of daily living. I don't know how these officials that make the policies
, procedures and therefore processes can sleep at night!

There are few people in history I would liken them too, that I could name.

People on here should contact their MP and we should start to make noise.....to get things examined.

It is totally unacceptable and shocking!
+1 #5 Jamesawayja@gmail.com 2020-03-18 18:44
I HAD a ESA tribunal I was supposed to attend on 18march but I asked for a postponement as on 11march a week before my age UK representative lied and demoralised me so much the following day I said I do not want him to represent me at tribunal, I did no have expertise to represent myself , so rang tribunal office to ask for postponement till I find new representative they said could reschedule tribunal but judge could decide to do paper hearing. From james
+1 #4 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2020-03-17 15:47
All I can say at this moment is that this is for many a short term reprieve or stay of execution. Good luck to all out there, keep as safe the best you possibly can. Regards.
#3 petrocelli 2020-03-17 09:33
Fail to see how those of us who are entirely on their own and in vulnerable coronavirus categories, requiring to stay home for 12 weeks, are supposed to get forms in post, if in receipt of them??? You'd have thought that they'd suspend all reassessments full stop, in order to cope with the potential avalanche of new claims!
+2 #2 wobblin 2020-03-17 02:52
Protecting their staff, more like.
+1 #1 sleepyhead 2020-03-16 15:54
I had been receiving PIP for the past 5 years had to submit a new application in October 2019. Still awaiting the face to face assessment and no appointment has been made. My PIP stopped being paid to me in January.I won't hold my breath on receiving any communication as they haven't bothered to contact me since they got my application in November. I know that the DWP scanned all my forms and accompanying evidence which they forwarded to the assessors in December. The system was already cracked, it is now smashed.

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