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Update on benefits: coronavirus

Jane Oliver, Senior Families and Professionals Advisor (Adult Enquiries), highlights some recent changes to benefits

We know benefits are not really on anyone’s minds but there are a few updates that it might be good to know.

There will be no new reviews or reassessments for all benefits for the next 3 months. These have been suspended from 24th of March. Benefits included are:

  • Universal Credit (UC)

  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

  • and Disabled Living Allowance (DLA).

If an assessment has already taken place for PIP the claim will continue to be processed. The assessment provider should be in touch though if an assessment has been scheduled to take place. But, you are not expected to attend assessments booked for after the 17th of March. Instead they may offer a telephone assessment or ask further questions if they can’t make a decision from the information given in the paper claim. If your PIP award is due to end it will be extended now.

Face to face assessments are also being suspended for the next 3 months for ESA and UC. This was from 17th of March - the same as PIP. Again, if a decision can’t be made based on the paper work then you may be contacted for a telephone assessment or asked further questions about your disability. ESA and UC claimants whose cases have been referred to the assessment provider will be contacted.

Contact, for Families with Disabled Children, has published some helpful information on coronavirus and welfare benefits. Click here to read more.

This article was written with information from Social Welfare Training.

(Correct as at 2 April 2020)


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