To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate her Department has made of the number of (a) universal credit and (b) employment support allowance claimants who were not (i) offered and (ii) deemed suitable for a a virtual or telephone Work Capability Assessment during 2020.
10 March 2021
The data you have requested is not available.
Face to face assessments for health and disability benefits are currently suspended in line with public health advice. We continue to complete paper-based assessments and make recommendations based on the written evidence available, as often as we are able to.
Where a case cannot be progressed by a paper-based assessment, a telephone assessment will be conducted, where appropriate to do so. Telephone assessments were introduced during the pandemic, as part of the Covid-19 response and we are working hard to increase the number of people able to participate in these assessments. We also undertake some video assessments, where appropriate.
The suspension of face to face assessments is regularly reviewed in line with the latest public health guidance and will recommence as soon as it is safe to do so. Claimants who cannot be assessed by telephone or video because of their health condition will be prioritised when we are able to safely resume face to face assessments.