UK Credit

DWP changes to PIP, Universal Credit, ESA, and other benefits starting this month



Face-to-face assessments for some Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit applicants will resume this month.

In line with the latest public health guidelines and by adhering to strict safety protocols, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) plans to start reintroducing in-person assessments of health and disability benefits in May.

Updating DWP through its Touchbase service says, “People will be invited to their appointments by letter, which will clearly state what to expect when they meet.

“Face-to-face assessments will run alongside existing paper-based assessments and telephone assessments – for work capacity assessments and PIP – which will continue to take place as appropriate.

The Jobcentre Plus offices also resumed face-to-face appointments at the end of April for clients who need to be seen by their work coach, however, the LA Welfare Direct newsletter on the site Web GOV.UK indicates that priority is given to “new clients and young people (aged 18-24) at risk of long-term unemployment”.

The DWP said it has worked with assessment providers to ensure assessment centers are fully compliant with Covid-19 security measures and earlier this week posted detailed guidance on GOV.UK for applicants and providers of assessment to support the safe resumption of face-to-face. evaluations.

Detailed DWP guidelines for applicants in Scotland, England and Wales invited to participate in an in-person assessment include:

  • Advice for applicants who are “ clinically extremely vulnerable ”

  • Advice on who you can bring with you to the assessment center

  • Social distancing requirements

  • Sanitation

  • PPE and face coverings

The DWP said, “Our approach and advice will be constantly reviewed to ensure that the ministry’s approach remains aligned with the latest public health guidelines.”

You can read GOV.UK’s full guide for applicants here and review providers here.

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The DWP has also added new temporary employment centers across the UK, including one in Aberdeen.

The DWP is setting up temporary employment centers in 2021 to deal with increased demand for services due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new job centers will provide services across the country where they are needed and increase the capacity to provide one-on-one, face-to-face support in a Covid-secured environment to help more people return to work.

Scotland has two other temporary employment centers, located in Ayr and Falkirk.

Location of temporary employment agencies in Scotland

  • Aberdeen – City Quay, Shiprow, AB11 5BY
  • Ayr – Maison Wallacetoun, rue John, KA8 0BX
  • Falkirk – Former BHS, Callendar Square Shopping Center, FK1 1UJ

The DWP said it will reconsider the need for these temporary work centers as the economy recovers and social distancing rules are relaxed.

The full list of temporary employment agencies across the UK is available on the GOV.UK website here.

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