Universal Credit, PIP and ESA Update: DWP May Roll Out New Claims System | Personal finance | Finance

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

If these plans come into effect, an entirely new evaluation system will have to be created.

A DWP study found that 56% of people prefer to take their Work Capacity Assessment (WCA) or PIP over a video call.

More than 750 people underwent a video assessment as part of a pilot project that ran until the end of March 2021.

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

The PIP is a benefit that replaced the Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people between 16 and the legal retirement age.

The PIP helps cover some of the additional costs resulting from a long-term health condition.

It also applies to people whose disability is expected to last 12 months or more.

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

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Currently, there are 3.5 million people with disabilities of working age who receive UC/ESA or PIP/DLA, or both types.

Of these, one million obtain universal credit C or ESA, and 900,000 obtain PIP or DLA.

The remaining 1.6 million receive both types.

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

The DWP countered this by outlining how an overhaul of the system could allow for a greater focus on supporting people with different priorities.

Indeed, a new single service, depending on its design and its objectives, could possibly make it possible to use a single assessment.

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

The 99-page document contained advice on how the social protection system can better meet the needs of people with disabilities and people with health conditions, now and in the future.

Specifically, it included options to address some of the short- and medium-term issues around health and disability benefits.

It highlighted the need for a broader shift in how people can easily access and use benefits and services.

The report shows how the DWP is currently working to introduce an integrated health assessment service.

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