The DWP is to resume trials of an integrated assessment for PIP/ESA/UC in April, Justin Tomlinson, minister for disabled people confirmed this week.

The DWP originally announced plans for an integrated assessment system for PIP and the work capability assessment (WCA) back in March 2019, with a further announcement in March 2020.

The original intention was to “test whether it is beneficial to claimants requiring face-to-face assessments to offer a single assessment for UC and PIP to capture all the information required for both claims in one appointment, reducing the need for claimants of both benefits to attend multiple appointments”.

In other words, the idea was not a single test for both benefits, but a single assessment at which the evidence needed both for PIP and a WCA would be collected.

Two years after that original announcement, it seems that virtually no progress has been made.

According to Tomlinson, the DWP had “started to test a single digital platform in a small number of assessment centres but this was paused due to the impact of COVID-19”.

The work will now go ahead within the Departmental Transformational Area (DTA). This is essentially an area where new processes can be tested on claimants before being rolled-out across the country.

The first DTA is at an undisclosed site in London and will begin in April of this year.

You can read Tomlinson’s full statement here.


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