Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 15th April 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Chris Stephens Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to protect sick, elderly or disabled people in receipt of (a) employment support allowance, (b) personal independence payment and (c) universal credit from having to attend mandatory assessments or appointments in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

An error has been identified in the written answer given on 19 March 2020.

The correct answer should have been:

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

From 17th March, we suspended all face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits. For existing claimants, we have also automatically extended awards and suspended any new review or reassessment activity, except where claimants notify us of changes to their needs that may result in an increase to their award.

We have temporarily suspended the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Income Support. This means that claimants are not expected to contact their Jobcentre Plus while this temporary suspension is in place. They will continue to receive benefits as normal and they will not be sanctioned for not taking part in interviews with Jobcentres.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No1 person thinks not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

From 17th March, we suspended all face-to-face assessments for health and disability benefits. For existing claimants, we have also automatically extended awards and suspended any new review or reassessment activity, except where claimants notify us of changes to their needs that may result in an increase to their award.

We have temporarily suspended the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, Job Seekers’ Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Income Support. This means that claimants are not expected to contact their Jobcentre Plus while this temporary suspension is in place. They will continue to receive benefits as normal and they will not be sanctioned for not taking part in interviews with Jobcentres.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes0 people think so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.