Universal Credit & PIP: Some face-to-face assessments suspended amid coronavirus outbreak

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next three months, the government has announced today. This change – taking place amid the coronavirus pandemic – will also cover health checks for Universal Credit.


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

The announcement said it is being taken as a precautionary measure in order to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus, as the country’s response ramps up in the “delay” phase.

The DWP said that they will ensure that those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.

The move affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and some on Universal Credit, and recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

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.”

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