What are the chances that assessments for ESA and PIP will be postponed due to Coronavirus? — Scope | Disability forum
Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.

What are the chances that assessments for ESA and PIP will be postponed due to Coronavirus?

Galarboy
Galarboy Member Posts: 7 Listener
edited March 2020 in PIP, DLA, and AA
Seeing as the vulnerable will soon be kept in lockdown will the DWP just postpone all assessments for the foreseeable future?
Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    it will also mean there are less assessors to do home visits and see claimants in their offices......current claims WILL have to be continued and dates should be extended...but what do I know? x
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,732 Disability Gamechanger
    At the moment for the work capability assessment the forms are still being sent out. I received one just 2 days ago.
  • wilko
    wilko Member Posts: 2,452 Disability Gamechanger
    Just a thought, maybe we will have more paper based assessments requiring more prove sent in by us. Assuming there will be staff at DWP and the assessment company's to do the necessary paperwork. 
  • OverlyAnxious
    OverlyAnxious Member Posts: 1,740 Disability Gamechanger
    I wonder how long the virus can survive on paper inside envelopes.  Maybe they'll move it to online instead!  Can't catch viruses online...well, not that type anyway! :D
  • johnnyy85
    johnnyy85 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    surely the assessors will have to work from home and it will all be paper based for the foreseeable future and an end to the f2f ?
  • johnnyy85
    johnnyy85 Member Posts: 28 Listener
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 169 Connected
    So for someone that has not completed the AR1 or PIP2 correctly and fully should get a paper based assessment? How would that work?
    They need to be examined for the DWP to get to understand what their problems are and how they are affected by them.
  • johnnyy85
    johnnyy85 Member Posts: 28 Listener
    Could they not do it with the evidence people have sent in ? 
  • poppy123456
    poppy123456 Member Posts: 29,732 Disability Gamechanger
    skullcap said:
    So for someone that has not completed the AR1 or PIP2 correctly and fully should get a paper based assessment? How would that work?


    Not sure how you came to that conclusion.
  • Firefly123
    Firefly123 Member Posts: 525 Pioneering
    I'm due a home vist on Thursday this will be my 3rd as the last two were no shows I started my claim at the end of July. Really hope its not postpone again and can get it over with. 
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    Here's something from the BBC website ......T

    The Department for Work and Pensions has also announced that, from Tuesday, face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability welfare payments will be suspended for three months in an effort to protect vulnerable claimants.

    The suspension will apply to claimants of personal independence payments, employment and support allowance, some on Universal Credit and people on industrial injuries schemes. Those with appointments will be contacted to discuss alternative arrangements.

  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
    ...and this is from the DWP...Nothing about those making a new claim unfortunately ..

    For people already claiming support

    Special arrangements will be in place for people in receipt of benefits who cannot attend reassessments or jobcentre appointments because they are required to stay at home or are infected by coronavirus.

    The arrangements are:

    • disabled and sick claimants who cannot attend a reassessment for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit will continue to receive their payments while their assessment is rearranged
    • people who need to claim ESA or Universal Credit because of coronavirus will not be required to produce a fit note.
    • when claimants tell us in good time that they are staying at home or that they have been diagnosed with coronavirus, they will not be sanctioned – we will review their conditionality requirements in their claimant commitment, to ensure they are reasonable
    • claimants who are staying at home as a result of coronavirus will have their mandatory work search and work availability requirements removed to account for a period of sickness
  • skullcap
    skullcap Posts: 169 Connected
    It would be most amusing as to how you could get a face to face assessment either at home or at a centre if the home and it's inhabitants are in lockdown especially for those over 70 who have additional issues . Four months of house arrest has been mentioned which may well be extended further. 
  • laurapeach
    laurapeach Member Posts: 104 Pioneering
    I'm guessing new claims won't be assessed at all until after the 3 months is up? Which means I'll be waiting even longer along with anyone else who applied in the last couple of months!
    Mum of one, I have M.E/CFS, POTS, Central Sensitization Syndrome and Joint Hypermobility Syndrome.
  • ShaunH
    ShaunH Member Posts: 28 Connected
    What about tribunal appeals? Will they still be going ahead as stated in my other posts I still awaiting my bundle and date but would they cancel them? If so what would happen instead? 

    If your sat 2 or 3 meters away I think it should be fine.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
    @ShaunH - I don't know whether tribunals will continue to sit  but I think that it's reasonable to assume that all of the PIP process - and other benefits - will be subject to delays.

    No-one is immune to coronavirus - it will infect more of the population and this will include judges & court staff, assessors for PIP, DWP staff, and all of the support and admin staff.

    As people self-isolate, and are sick, delays will be inevitable.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,595 Scope online community team
    We're aware of media articles stating that benefits assessments are cancelled. However, we've so far been unable to verify that the Department for Work and Pensions has officially announced this. Until such time that the DWP do make an announcement, please don't assume that any assessments or appointments have been cancelled.
    If you have an assessment soon, it's worth calling the assessment centre to double-check ahead of setting off. Please don't assume it's okay to just not go.
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • cristobal
    cristobal Member Posts: 984 Disability Gamechanger
    edited March 2020
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,595 Scope online community team
    Hi @cristobal. The previous guidance published by them covered if you need to cancel or rearrange if you're directly affected by Covid-19, but there wasn't published updates regarding the cancelling of all assessments. 

    However just as I posted, the DWP have updated! 
    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,595 Scope online community team

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

    Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits will be suspended for the next 3 months, the government announced today.

    The temporary move, effective on Tuesday 17 March 2020, is being taken as a precautionary measure to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus as the country’s response ramps up in the ‘delay’ phase. We will ensure those who are entitled to a benefit continue to receive support, and that new claimants are able to access the safety net.

    It affects claimants of Personal Independence Payment, those on Employment and Support Allowance and some on Universal Credit, and recipients of Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

    The suspension of face-to-face assessments also covers new claims to those benefits.

    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.

    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 3 months but we will be regularly reviewing the position in line with Public Health advice.

    No further action is required by any claimant as a result of this change. They will be contacted with advice on next steps.

    Suspending face-to-face health assessments is a precautionary measure which reflects the Prime Minister’s decision to trigger the ‘delay’ phase. It is important to note that this change does not affect or change any existing public health advice.


    Community Manager
    Scope

    Tell us how to make the community better for you. Complete our feedback form.

Brightness

Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?


Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.