Bristol news DWP issue PIP and DLA update for face-to-face assessments MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - DWP issues guidelines for those with awards due for renewal or for re-assessments
Breaking News ! Life changed for everyone when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Schools and workplaces closed, social gatherings were stops and life as we knew it changed dramatically. So at the start of the pandemic, it came as little surprise that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decided to change how it processed benefits claims to protect both the people needing their help and their staff. In late March the DWP replaced face-to-face assessments, instead implementing temporary telephone assessments and paper-based reviews as proactive measures in response to Covid-19. This saw face-to-face health assessments temporarily suspended until further notice. The DWP also delayed routine re-assessments and reviews and extended awards due to end until they can be reviewed safely. Read More Related Articles DWP to make PIP change which could make process easier and quicker for new applicants Read More Related Articles 450,000 people missing out on up to £173.75 a week from Government Now The Daily Record reports that although planned 'award reviews' and some Disability Living Allowance (DLA) activity restarted in July, phone and paper-based reviews will continue. The DWP says it will review the process regularly in alignment with Covid-19 health and safety guidance. The pandemic has impacted the number of new claims for PIP and DLA, with 45,000 registrations made between May and July - eight per cent lower than the same period last year. Read More Related Articles DWP makes change to how people can collect their State Pension However, there was a rise in the number of changes in circumstances, with 7,300 claimants registering changes with the DWP - two per cent higher than the same period last year. Addressing the temporary suspension of face-to-face assessments, the GOV.UK website states: “This was aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to coronavirus and safeguarding the health of individuals claiming health and disability-related benefits, many of whom are likely to be at greater risk due to their pre-existing health conditions. “This means that those claiming PIP were not required to attend face-to-face assessments. However, new claims and changes of circumstances were still accepted and payments continued to be made." GOV.UK also states: “All PIP award reviews and DLA to PIP reassessments which had not yet had an assessment booked were delayed and existing awards due to expire were automatically extended to ensure continuity of financial support. “Planned award reviews and some DLA reassessment activity resumed during July 2020.
.” If you’re considering applying for PIP (or DLA for those aged under 16), DWP has produced a new “customer journey” flow to help people understand the process and changes implemented as a result of Covid-19. Claimant registers to claim PIP. DWP issues “Part 2” form (referred to in the application process as the “How your disability affects you” form) for the claimant to complete. Claimant completes and returns “Part 2” form – which automatically triggers a referral to the Assessment Provider. Under Covid-19 provisions, the claimant may have their claim assessed based on telephony assessments, alongside paper-based reviews - under normal circumstances, claimant may be called for face-to-face assessment conducted by the Assessment Provider. DWP makes a decision based on the Assessment Provider recommendation - the outcome may be an award (including monetary amount of the award for both Daily Living and Mobility components, the award type and, if appropriate, the period of time that should be allowed before a review of the award takes place) or a disallowance due to failing the assessment (although a claim can also be disallowed prior to the Assessment Provider referral based on the information in the “Part 2” form or if the claimant fails to attend the assessment). Payment of the benefit begins. When the claim is in payment, a claimant must report any changes of circumstances relating to the claim - failing to do so can result in payments being stopped. Under Covid-19 provisions from late March 2020, award reviews were suspended and claims reaching the end of their review period had their claim extended automatically, to ensure awards stay in payment. If the claimant disagrees with a decision on their claim, they can raise a Mandatory Reconsideration. If the claimant still disagrees after the Mandatory Reconsideration has been completed, they can raise an appeal. Appeals may be cleared at a tribunal hearing, with face-to-face hearings being replaced by telephone hearings and the use of other remote hearing technology under Covid-19 provisions, or cleared without a hearing. How to apply for PIP To start the application process, you will need to contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) on 0800 917 2222 (textphone 0800 917 7777). You can ask for a paper form to complete if you are unable to claim by phone, although this may delay your claim. More help available Citizens Advice and Benefits and Work have good information available designed to help claimants understand the assessment process, we recommend checking them out for the latest updates. Benefits and Work have gone through their forum and emails for recent accounts of telephone assessments and put together some information you may find useful here.
Source = MetiNews.Com