The Department for Work and Pensions announced that from Tuesday 17th March, there will be no face-to-face assessments for Employment Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit, and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) for the next 3 months. In this time they state that everyone who is entitled to state support will / will continue to receive it.
What does this mean for me?
Anyone who has not yet claimed benefits is still able to do so. Anyone who had a health assessment or work-capability assessment scheduled going forward will not have to attend this. Cases are being decided by means of phone assessments, where you will be called by the assessment provider to discuss some areas of your conditions and how they impact you on a daily basis, or paper-based assessments where they review your file and evidence-based on the paperwork alone.
What do I need to do now?
For those who already had a face-to-face appointment scheduled, you shouldn’t need to do anything, except for keeping your phone near you in case you are called for a phone assessment.
For those who are looking to claim now, filling out the form well and providing good supporting evidence alongside it is likely to be more important than ever as it’s all the assessors will have to go on when reviewing your claim.
Where can I get support?
For further information about services that may be able to support you making or managing a claim for benefits, visit our service page