The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been considering what steps need to be taken to reduce the risk to vulnerable claimants and has taken the decision to suspend all face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits with immediate effect.
This includes: Personal Independence Payment, the Industrial Injuries Scheme and Work Capability Assessments in both Employment and Support Allowance and Universal Credit. This decision has been taken as a precautionary measures, but one felt necessary in order to safeguard the health of individuals claiming these benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions.
From tomorrow, 17th March, all scheduled face-to-face assessments for the next three months will be suspended, and the DWP will be making every effort to contact claimants to notify them that they no longer need to attend their appointment. If a claimant cannot be contacted and turns up to their scheduled assessment, they will be offered a choice at to whether to continue with their assessment face-to-face or not. This decision will be reviewed on a weekly basis in line with Public Health advice.