Therese Coffey addresses plans for Universal Credit in Parliament
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PIP is a state benefit which helps with some of the extra costs associated with long-term physical or mental health conditions or disabilities. To be eligible for PIP, a claimant must be aged between 16 and state pension age.
Additionally, they must also have a physical or mental health condition where they:
- Have had difficulties with daily living or getting around (or both) for three months
- Expect these difficulties to continue for at least nine months
Claimants will also usually need to have lived in England, Scotland or Wales for at least two of the last three years, and be in one of these countries when they apply.
So long as a claimant is eligible they’ll receive a payment made up of two parts.
The daily living part of PIP pays a weekly rate of either £60 or £89.60.
It is also possible to get mobility payments of either £23.70 or £62.55.
To determine how much a claimant will get, an assessment involving an independent healthcare professional will usually follow an initial claim.
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These assessments used to be mainly conducted in person and over the phone but as coronavirus emerged, some of the assessment process was done through video calls.
On this, Vicky Foxcroft, the Labour MP for Lewisham, Deptford, recently asked the DWP for clarity on the assessment process.
Ms Foxcroft asked: “To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many assessments for (a) personal independence payment, (b) universal credit and (c) employment support allowance her Department has carried out by video call since March 2020.”
Today, this question was answered by Justin Tomlinson, the Minister of State for the DWP.
Mr Tomlinson said: “From November 2020 to date, 930 Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments and 760 Work Capability Assessments (WCA) have been carried out by video call.
“We are unable to break down the WCAs into Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance.
“Video assessments were introduced, along with telephone assessments, as part of the Covid-19 response, however, video assessments are still in the trial stage.
“The experience and feedback from the trial will inform wider roll out and initially participation in video assessments will be limited, and by invitation only.
“Video assessments, where appropriate, have taken place alongside telephone and paper-based assessments, which have been carried out successfully throughout the pandemic.
“In addition, face-to-face assessments resumed in May.”
Initial claims for PIP can be made by telephone, textphone or through the post.
Full details on PIP rules can be found on the Government’s website.
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