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DWP to roll out new claim system for PIP, Universal Credit and ESA

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This would bring the assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) onto a single, digital system, Wales Online reports. It would mean, for example, medical evidence collected for one assessment can be used for the other.

If these plans come into effect, a whole new assessment system would need to be created.

A DWP study found that 56 percent of people prefer having their Work Capability Assessment (WCA) or PIP assessment by video call.

Over 750 people have gone through a video assessment as part of a pilot which ran until the end of March 2021.

The DWP now plans to increase the number of video assessments.

PIP is a benefit which has replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between 16 and state pension age.

PIP helps towards some of the extra costs arising from having a long-term health condition.

It also applies to those with a disability that is expected to last for 12 months or longer.

Entitlement to PIP is based on the effect a long-term health condition has on a person’s daily life – not the condition itself.

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At present, there are 3.5 million working-age disabled people receiving UC/ESA or PIP/DLA, or both types.

Of those, one million get Universal credit C or ESA, and 900,000 get PIP or DLA.

The remaining 1.6 million get both types.

The expected major overhaul would introduce a one-stop payment system where people with health problems only need to be assessed once to see what level of help they qualify for.

The DWP has countered this by highlighting how an overhaul to the system could enable more focus to be put on supporting people with different priorities.

This is because a new single benefit, depending on how it was designed and its objectives, could potentially make it possible to use a single assessment.

This all comes as the DWP, the UK’s biggest public service department, published its Health and Disability Green Paper in July last year.

The 99 page document contained guidance on how the welfare system can better meet the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions now and in the future.

More specifically, it included options for addressing some of the short-to-medium term issues in health and disability benefits.

It illuminated the need for wider change on how people can easily access and use benefits and services.

The report shows how the DWP is currently working towards introducing an integrated health assessment service.



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