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Face to face benefits appointments cancelled

18 March 2020

Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended, effective 17 March 2020.

The move is being taken to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus as the country’s response ramps up in the ‘delay’ phase.

It affects new claims for, and existing claimants of, Personal Independence Payment (PIP), those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), some on Universal Credit, and people who receive Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey said:

“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.

“Anyone who has a face-to-face assessment appointment scheduled from Tuesday 17 March onwards does not need to attend and will be contacted to discuss next steps and alternative arrangements, which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments. We expect this measure will be in effect for the next three months but we will be regularly reviewing the position in line with Public Health advice.”

The DWP is continuing to accept new claims for all benefits. Anyone already receiving PIP, ESA, Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, will continue to receive their current payments as normal while alternative arrangements are put in place to review or reassess their claim.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/face-to-face-health-assessments-for-benefits-suspended-amid-coronavirus-outbreak