Question to the Department for Work and Pensions:
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what procedures are in place to ensure people with hidden disabilities are assessed accurately in telephone assessments when making (a) a personal independence payment and (b) universal credit claim.
All Healthcare Professionals (HPs) have extensive and rigorous training in undertaking assessments.
Each referral is initially reviewed by a HP, if there is sufficient supporting evidence to provide paper based advice to the department, the HP will assess the claimant on this evidence alone. If they cannot, the claimant will be invited to attend a telephone, video or face to face assessment.
All claimants, including those with hidden disabilities, are assessed in accordance with the PIP Assessment Guide for Providers or Work Capability Assessment Handbook.
We have continuously improved our processes and guidance to minimise the number of customers for whom a telephone or video assessment is not suitable. In such instances, these claimants will be prioritised for a face to face assessment.