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PIP and ESA reviews and reassessments suspended for the next three months

25 March 2020

The DWP has announced that PIP and ESA reviews and reassessments are suspended for three months.

It is also automatically extending all disability benefit awards at the current rate to provide reassurance to those in receipt of them. 

The DWP says:

  • there will be no new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for three months – this includes Universal Credit, ESA, PIP, DLA, Attendance Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for the next 3 months including for any new claims.
  • PIP claimants, if an assessment has already taken place this will continue to be processed. If an assessment has been scheduled, claimants will be contacted by the assessment provider to discuss how this will be taken forward.
  • ESA and UC claimants whose cases have been referred to the provider will be contacted to take this forward.

The DWP says about the suspension of reviews and assessments:

  • the suspension will be kept under regular review and extended if necessary.
  • if people experience a change in their needs they are still encouraged to contact the DWP to ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.
  • where awards are due to expire, it will be extending end-dates so that claimants continue to receive financial support at their current rate during this period.
  • People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible.
  • Jobcentres remain open, and will continue to support people who are not able to use phones and online, including homeless people.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Officer said:

“That disability benefit reviews and reassessments suspended for the next three months is a very welcome announcement. Especially as it has been made clear that all awards and reassessments for disability benefits are also being automatically extended.

“Some issues are still unclear. For example, are people who have already been sent renewal claim forms still be expected to return them?

However, hopefully this will become clear in the next few days.”

 

For more information, see Coronavirus update - benefit reviews and reassessments suspended at the gov.uk website.