Communities Minister Carál Ní Chuilín MLA today announced the extension of safeguard measures currently in place to protect those claiming disability benefits.
Explaining further, the Minister said:
“Back in March 2020 in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, my colleague Deirdre Hargey, in her role as Communities Minister, announced a number of measures up to the end of June 2020 to ensure that disabled people continued to receive the most appropriate support during this period. I am pleased to announce that arrangements will be extended beyond June 2020.
“In line with public health advice face-to face assessments for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) will continue to be suspended and be kept under review, with telephony assessments carried out where appropriate. Review activity will gradually resume from 21 July for PIP and Disability Living Allowance and measures have been put in place to ensure the payment of benefit continues until the review has concluded. If people experience a change in their needs they are still encouraged to contact the Department to ensure they are receiving the correct level of support.”
The Minister concluded:
“These measures are to reassure vulnerable people about the continuity of their benefits during the Coronavirus outbreak and to ensure the Department’s resources are focused on enabling access to financial support for people who need it.
“During these very challenging times my priority continues to be protecting the health and well-being of those using and delivering these vital services across our communities.”
Notes to editors:
- Media enquiries to Department for Communities Press Office at Press.Office@communities-ni.gov.uk
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- Follow the Department on Twitter @CommunitiesNI
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- COVID-19 Service Updates 11 December 2020
- Communities Minister’s £6.5m additional support for vulnerable people over the Christmas period 10 December 2020