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16 March, 2020 Open access

All face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits suspended for three months with effect from 17 March 2020

Alternative arrangements could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments, says DWP

All face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits are to be suspended, the government has announced.

In order to protect vulnerable people from unnecessary risk of exposure to coronavirus, the DWP says that, with effect from 17 March 2020, face-to-face assessments will be suspended for three months. Any claimants with an appointment scheduled do not need to attend and alternative arrangements will be made which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments.

Commenting on the announcement, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Dr Thérèse Coffey said - 

'As we move into the next phase of our response to coronavirus, it is right we take steps to protect those with health problems.

Temporarily suspending face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits will allow us to ensure we continue to provide a safety net for those in need, while removing unnecessary risk of exposure to this disease.'

For more information see Face-to-face health assessments for benefits suspended amid coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak from gov.uk

Stop press (17 March 2020) - the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Justin Tomlinson has issued a written statement confirming the details of the above policy.