House of Commons Library

ESA and PIP reassessments

Published Friday, May 10, 2019

This Commons Library briefing paper looks at the rules on reassessing Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payment claimants. Starting from 29 September 2017, some ESA and UC claimants with the most severe conditions will not have to face reassessment. PIP claimants receiving the highest level of support and whose needs are unlikely to improve may only have a "light touch" review every ten years. The Government also intends to exempt from reassessment PIP claimants over State Pension age, unless they report a change in their needs, from late spring 2019.

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Since 29 September 2017, some Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit claimants with the most severe health conditions and disabilities have been exempt from future reassessments.  Claimants meet the “severe conditions criteria” if they have been assessed as having a “limited capability for work-related activity”; have a severe, lifelong disability, illness or health condition; and are unlikely to ever be able to move into work.

In August 2018 the Department for Work and Pensions also issued updated internal guidance to ensure that people receiving the highest level of support under Personal Independence Payment, and whose needs are unlikely to change or may get worse, will receive an “ongoing award” of PIP with a “light touch” review at the ten-year point (although such ongoing awards have been a feature of PIP since its introduction in 2013).  The DWP is consulting with stakeholders to develop the light touch review process.

The DWP also announced on 5 March 2019 that it would no longer be undertaking regular reviews of PIP awards for claimants at or above State Pension age unless they report a change in their needs.  The Department expects to implement this policy from late Spring 2019.










Commons Briefing papers CBP-7820

Author: Steven Kennedy

Topics: Benefits administration, Benefits policy, Sickness, disability and carers' benefits

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