The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has updated the guidelines for face-to-face PIP assessments, including how applicants should show up.

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PIP ASSESSMENT rules have been updated by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) today in light of ongoing coronavirus guidance. Face to face health assessments must now follow specific procedures, with new guidance on social distancing measures having been announced.

The DWP have altered and updated rules today which concerns face coverings and who can be brought along to a review. This not only concerns PIP claimants but also those on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.

PIP claimants usually face health assessments following a claim to determine how much income they should receive from the benefit. As the pandemic emerged, physical assessments were scaled back to prevent the spread of coronavirus but they may become more prevalent once again in the months ahead.

Where a claimant is assessed in person, they’re usually allowed to bring someone with them so long as they’re aged 16 or over.

According to Citizens Advice: “This could be anyone who makes you feel more comfortable, like a friend, relative or carer. If you want, they can take part in discussions and take notes for you.”

Healthcare professionals may visit PIP claimants directly to conduct an assessment but benefit claimants may also need to visit a Jobcentreplus during the process. Those visiting DWP buildings will need to adhere to new guidance.

The new guidance says: “DWP needs face coverings to be worn in its buildings. This means you, and anyone who comes with you to your assessment, must wear a suitable face covering when you attend your appointment unless you have a reason for not wearing one in line with Government guidance.

“If you do not already have a face covering, a disposable face mask can be provided when you arrive at the assessment centre.

“By face covering, we mean something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.”

The DWP also asked claimants “if possible”, to come to their assessment alone.

 

The DWP said: “If you need to have someone with you to support you, you can bring one adult. If you need support from an interpreter or support worker, please contact the assessment provider.

“Please do not bring children with. “Brinkwire Summary News”.

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