The government has announced plans to roll out a single service to deliver all disability benefits assessments. The service will be trialled before being rolled out nationally.
The new single service will deliver the assessments for Personal Independence Payments (PIP), the Work Capability Assessments in Employment and Support Allowance, and Universal Credit.
Explaining the reasons behind the announcement, Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “We are committed to providing the best possible support for people with a disability.
“That’s why we have listened to feedback from both charities and claimants to bring all assessments under one roof.”
Currently, separate organisations run the assessments for these benefits, using different IT systems. With the introduction of the new system all assessments will be delivered using a single digital platform, developed and run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
The change to a consolidated system will mean that people in receipt of more than one benefit will no longer have to provide the same information multiple times.
“It’s important we get this right, which is why we’ll trial the new service on a regional scale before rolling it out nationally,” said Mr Tomlinson.
“These changes show that we are moving in the right direction and the planned Green Paper will go further as we continue to improve the experience for people with long-term health conditions and disabilities.”
The region in which the system will be trialled in has not yet been confirmed, but it will be developed initially from 2021 before a national rollout. This is in an effort ensure high quality and consistent support.
The announcement of the new system is the next step on a commitment made in 2019 on exploring new ways to improve support for disabled people. This included reducing the need for face to face assessments and eliminating the need to supply the same information more than once: increasing people’s understanding and confidence in the benefits system.
Later this year, the government will launch its national disability strategy to increase inclusivity in all spheres of life for disabled people.