The DWP’s plan for a major change to the assessment system for PIP and the work capability assessment (WCA) will not now go ahead this summer and may never happen at all.

Last September we reported that in any given area, just one company would carry out both PIP and WCA assessments and that much of the information gathered at one assessment would be used for the other, though the actual assessments would still be separate.

The new system was supposed to be introduced this August.

But, in evidence given to the commons work and pensions committee earlier this month, the DWP admitted that contracts for the new system have not even been awarded yet.

Instead, the DWP say that they now plan to choose the new providers in each area by March this year, but the new assessments will not begin until March 2024.  Current providers assessment contracts have now been extended to that date.

One of the reasons for the delay, the DWP claim, is that they have belatedly decided that they want to use their own software to carry out the assessments rather than letting different providers develop their own.

However, since the committee meeting on 11 January, we have now had the news that the government is considering major reforms to the WCA or possibly scrapping it altogether.

If that is what happens, then the business case for spending millions on new software that will become obsolete soon after its introduction becomes very hard to make.

A white paper on benefits is due out in early March.  It’s contents may spell the end of the DWP’s current plan to shake-up the assessment system.  Meanwhile, the delays and confusion will continue.

You can read the minutes of the work and pensions committee here.

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    Bee · 10 months ago
    Should l be concerned.... have ESA in support group, and have standard level in both elements of PIP, the ESA is fine however the PIP which l've had for 3 yrs was extended then expired and although l still get paid l was sent a 'has your health changed' form which was sent back last October.... to which l had a text in January and again in March this year stating it was still awaiting review. At the same time in March l posted to the DWP a change in mobility which has only got worse plus Dr evidence.
    When l rang l was told they could send out another form to fill in or write a letter, l chose the latter to try and speed things up... l was told not to worry about the delays!!!!
    But l am due to renew my blue badge and our council are really picky and l can just see them refusing the renewal as l haven't got an inclusive dated DWP proof of entitlement letter..... any suggestions plus anyone out there waiting over 6 months from the 'has your health changed' update ?
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    Chris · 11 months ago
    according to the news there soon wont be a WCA at all, obviously something will replace it but not been said, i hope we see a news article for that.
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    James Purcell · 1 years ago
    I was sent 12 months extension letter, for my PIP review. May 2020, till May 2021.  I was then sent questionnaire form how my disabilities effect me, May 2021,  to be returned by June 12th. 2021.
    Last week rhey sent me a text saying I have a video review online  
    Their biggest question!!??  How is my health since they last saw me  in August 2018..........?????
    I'm absolutely petrified.  Should I be worried or happy that it's a video review, albeit in my own home???
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    Wendy · 1 years ago
    I am in receipt of pip and esa with severe disability premiums ,yet esa still keep me in the limited work group . I have had to fight for nearly 4 years with a tribunal awarding me in 2019 after a 18 month wait , a application for tribunal again after that in June 21 before I was awarded this through a phone call of DWP ( pip )before tribunal date .Seems unfair that they don't move me to support group in esa . 
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    David Millar · 1 years ago
    I've been waiting since October 2021 for my PIP review 
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    Lyn · 1 years ago
    Some years ago when my son was transferred from IB to ESA he was told he was fit for work following his WCA. He had also applied for PIP. PIP sent him a letter saying that they had seen his ESA decision and he wouldn't be eligible for PIP. I hadn't discovered this site at the time but a lovely gentleman at the local Council Office suggested that I speak to the Council's welfare advice team. They completed his form for him and he was awarded ESA and put in the support group. He has mental health issues as well as physical health issues and he has never tried to claim PIP again because of the way he was treated. Even the welfare rights advisor couldn't persuade him.
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    clearwater · 1 years ago
    It is highly unlikely Cons or Labour would lets GP's decide outcomes and assessments,


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    Jason Lee · 1 years ago
    They should leave it up to GP's and end assessments....
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Yorkie21 · 11 months ago
      @Jason Lee They haven’t got enough time now
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 1 years ago
      @Cath Hi Cath,

      I absolutely agree with you both.  Simply just park us up as being retired, and claim state pension + pension credit top up.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Cath · 1 years ago
      @Jason Lee I agree Jason. England should follow Scotland's lead and scrap assessments for people with long term conditions where they know they would not improve and would never be fit for work. It would save a lot of stress and a lot of money.
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    Aw · 1 years ago
    If they scrap the WCA, who will be left to decide whether someone's health will be damaged by attempting to work or be forced into WRA? As much as I hate the WCA I am terrified of the idea that some untrained person at the jobcentre might have the power to decide people's fate with no recourse to a medically driven appeals process. It could be complete bloodbath.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Yorkie21 · 11 months ago
      @Aw It will be PIP assessment information that’s used .
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Bos · 1 years ago
      @Aw Don't know how the new system will work some people have long time health/mental health problems so will they put pressure on them to have to work. Those on ESA in support group are unable to work. I think people will long time mental health problems will stress them out so much. The WCA assessments now are stressful to go to. 
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