The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has previously notified its intent to deploy a new system to deliver a combined PIP and Employment Support Allowance (ESA) / Universal Credit (UC) work capability assessment system. This would be a £3.15 billion contact with a single organisation as part of the Health Transformation Programme (HTP), integrating with a single digital platform developed separately by DWP.
But these will not be ready before the existing contracts with private companies who undertake PIP health assessments expire in July 2021. Therefore, the Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work announced the DWP is tendering to extend the current separate arrangements with private contractors for another 3 years at a cost of £1 billion.
In the meantime, the DWP will itself be developing and testing the new integrated assessment service from August 2021. It seems the DWP wants to help claimants understand the best supporting evidence to provide, reduce duplication of effort by claimants, triage claims better to reduce the number of face-to-face assessments, improve how the DWP undertakes those assessments, and make claimants more aware of support options available from the DWP and others.