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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for people who require assistance in (a) question comprehension and (b) support from a nominated adult or carer in the assessment of people for personal independence payment during the covid-19 outbreak.
The department is committed to providing a quality, sensitive and respectful service to everyone. Individuals are encouraged to alert their assessment provider of any additional requirements they may have and providers will endeavour to meet any such reasonable requests.
Individuals can access additional support at any point in the claim or assessment process, for example help filling in the form or questionnaire. Companions are also able to join the telephony assessment, as they would have done for the face-to-face assessment. This is confirmed to the individual in the initial invitation to assessment letter for all phone assessments. If choosing to request a companion, they will be added to the call by the Health Professional at the start of the assessment.
To further enhance the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) telephony service, PIP providers have begun implementing a video relay service for deaf / British Sign Language-user claimants with an interpreter to allow these individuals to participate in the assessment process.