It occurred to me that this may be of some use to some of you… the DWP have released copies of all guidance and training materials issued around how to safely and accurately (hmm) carry out health and work capability assessments remotely during covid. Lots of it’s fluff, lots of it has no change, but some of it is useful.
Aside from anything else it may be possible to call them up on having failed to meet some of their own guidance when taking your clients cases to tribunals after incorrect decisions made as a result of remote assessments carried out during COVID.
The files released sadly are too big and numerous to attach to this so I will link to the whatdotheyknow thread where they can all be downloaded (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/health_and_work_capability_asses)
Of particular interest may be –
– for the purposes of PIP, it is possible to carry the assessment out on behalf of your client as their authorised rep if there is good cause / justification for doing so. I can vouch for this and did successfully do a PIP assessment for one of my clients without the client being present – reason given there which they (eventually) accepted was that we had medical evidence from a psychologist confirming that the assessment process retraumatised the client.
– for the purposes of the WCA, no fit for work decisions are being made. you can be reassessed only with the aim of seeking to maintain or increase a client’s award.
– when reassessing clients via WCA, if LCWRA was applied previously for reasons of mental health they are exempt from reassessment at present
– ditto for clients for whom suicidal ideation or behaviour has been confirmed in at least one of the last two reports, questionnaires, or accompanying medical evidence