DWP announces new single service for disability benefits assessments including PIP and ESA
Bringing all assessments under one roof, a new single service to deliver all disability benefits assessments will be trialled before being rolled out nationally, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced.
Currently, separate organisations run assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the Work Capability Assessments in Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit using different IT systems. The new system will deliver all assessments using a single digital platform, developed and run by the DWP.
Launching in a region to be confirmed in the near future, the new system will ensure that people in receipt of more than one benefit will not have to provide the same information multiple times.
This announcement builds on the UK Government’s aims of improving support for disabled people, including reducing the need for face to face assessments and eliminating the need to supply the same information more than once; increasing people’s understanding and confidence in the benefits system.
Last year, the DWP scrapped unnecessary PIP reassessments for around 290,000 disabled pensioners in the UK, with the aim of giving people a fairer and more trustworthy system.
Minister for Disabled People, Justin Tomlinson said: “We are committed to providing the best possible support for people with a disability. That’s why we have listened to feedback from both charities and claimants to bring all assessments under one roof.
“It’s important we get this right, which is why we’ll trial the new service on a regional scale before rolling it out nationally.
“These changes show that we are moving in the right direction and the planned Green Paper will go further as we continue to improve the experience for people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.”
The new service will be developed initially from 2021 before a national rollout, to ensure high quality and consistent support.
According to the Government, later in the year, it will launch its national disability strategy to increase inclusivity in all spheres of life for disabled people.