Dear Department for Work and Pensions,
In your PIP assessment guide it is noted in section 1.6.1 that "In the majority of cases, a face-to-face consultation will be necessary to accurately assess the claimant’s functional ability. This gives the claimant the opportunity to explain to the HP how their impairment or health condition affects them."
Similarly, assessors carrying out Work-Capability Assessments often require a face-to-face assessment for claimants of ESA and Universal Credit.
With the recent decision to assess claims only on the paper or over the phone due to the COVID-19 virus, please could you :
- in the case of UC, ESA, and PIP, tell us any changes you have made to your policies and guidance to ensure that contracted healthcare professionals are able to accurately assess the functional ability of claimants without a face to face assessment.
- in the case of UC and ESA, tells us any changes you have made to internal policy and guidance to ensure that risk (as outlined in the ESA Regulations 2008 Regulations 29 and 35) can be appropriately and responsibly assessed without a face to face assessment.
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