To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of coordinating assessments for claimants applying for universal credit and personal independence payments.
In responses to the 2016 Improving Lives: Work, Health and Disability Green Paper consultation and through several other forums, stakeholders have raised concerns about the feeling of duplication across the current assessment processes. We have therefore been exploring options to reduce this, and make improvements to the customer experience. By testing the feasibility of a single assessment for Employment and Support Allowance/Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment we can seek to understand if it will improve the assessment process for our customers, and ensure that it delivers high quality and accurate outcomes. The study is being informed by existing evidence and we have been gathering views and insight from key stakeholders to understand the issues around implementing this.
I do consider there are merits and we announced in March 2019 that we have launched the Health Transformation Programme to deliver a new integrated assessment service across all health and disability benefits. This will make the assessment process simpler, quicker, more user-friendly and more joined-up whichever benefit people are claiming. This integrated service will still be taking applications to individual benefits on a separate basis.