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The government is still reviewing the face-to-face assessment ban for benefits such as personal independence payment (PIP) and employment and support allowance (ESA), which is due to end in a week’s time.

The ban on face-to-face assessments was introduced on 17 March for an initial three months.

It has led to the majority of new PIP claims being assessed by telephone or just on the papers.

Justin Tomlinson, minister of state for disabled people, told MPs this week:

“As previously announced, all face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits were suspended from 17 March 2020 for an initial period of three months. We are currently in the process of reviewing this measure in light of the latest public health advice and will confirm next steps as soon as possible.”


#3 Karen Clarke 2020-06-16 13:41
I’m on a fb benefit advice site. There are a number of people saying that DWP have told them they will have to have a f2f and could be waiting 14 weeks! I had a DWP nurse phone 2 weeks ago to clarify points and she said she was trying to speed things up for me and it would be about 6 weeks. She never mentioned a f2f. I’ve had a stroke and pip has gone through fine, but I’m very confused, I’ve never claimed any thing before.
#2 phrank 2020-06-12 19:02
I'm no fan of the DWP - far from it.

But in their defence: there is no way they will restart face to face assessments until the law allows them to.

In short, while ever we are being asked to socially distance then no: there cannot be any face to face assessments in the old format.

As for touching a claimant in the line of duty (testing to see how much you can push eg) I don't think that is going to happen for a long, long time.

On the other hand, the virus may just disappear (only dreaming) and in that case, the old system will return.

So, I can't see any face to face assessments returing in the old format.

The only safe way would be to do the assessment outdoors with no physical contact and at a safe distance.

Even if they reduce the two metre rule, it's difficult to see them carrying out assessments as they used to be.

+1 #1 mrfibrospondodysthmatic 2020-06-11 15:27
Going back into an assessment centre, or having assessors into our homes, could and would put us claimants in a dangerous predicament. It could and possibly would lead to claimants getting infected, subsequently leading to many unnecessary deaths.

And if the assessments goes back to pre or march 2020, then surely Justin Thomlinson and the government should understand this. Finally assessors should not any under circumstances attempt to touch a claimant at all. There should be a 2 metre distance, and the room adequate ventilated and with freedom and space to move around in. And also enough room for family or carer/s to attend the assessment with the claimant in question. And on an end note.... the assessor should not do any physical tests themselves on any claimant ie leg pulling up and down or touching and moving a claimants neck or head or shoulders. Or arms or fingers etc. Its just too risky and is certainly unfair to claimants to be put at any risk, which could lead to infections and death. All claimants need to somehow make a stance on this as OUR LIVES MATTER.

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