Coronavirus benefits update

April 3, 2020 3:06 pm

Update from the Department of Work and Pensions

Reviews and reassessments for disability benefits are being suspended for three months from 24 March 2020. This means that:

  • There will be no new reviews or reassessments across all benefits for three months – this includes Universal Credit (UC), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.
  • Face-to-face assessments for all sickness and disability benefits have been suspended for the next 3 months including for any new claims.
  • PIP claimants, if an assessment has already taken place this will continue to be processed. If an assessment has been scheduled, claimants will be contacted by the assessment provider to discuss how this will be taken forward.
  • ESA and UC claimants whose cases have been referred to the provider will be contacted to take this forward.

The suspension will be kept under regular review and extended if necessary. If people experience a change in their needs they are still encouraged to contact the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.

Where awards are due to expire, the Department will be extending end-dates so that claimants continue to receive financial support at their current rate during this period.

Other welfare benefit changes include:

  • Increasing the universal credit standard allowance and the working tax credit basic element by £20 a week for the next 12 months.
  • Raising the ‘generosity’ of housing benefit and universal credit, so that the local housing allowance will cover at least 30% of market rents in an area.
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