Information about telephone assessments

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has temporarily suspended all face-to-face assessments due to the Coronavirus. Instead we may invite you to have a Work Capability Assessment by telephone. If this is the case, you will receive a telephone call or a letter from the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) to invite you to attend a telephone appointment and to provide you with further details of the assessment.

It may take some time for us to contact all customers. You do not need to contact us. If we do not invite you to a telephone assessment, we will contact you with details of a face-to-face assessment as soon we can.

What to expect at your telephone assessment

A registered and qualified healthcare professional will carry out your telephone Work Capability Assessment. They will discuss your capability to do daily tasks with your disability, illness or health condition. The healthcare professional will ask you questions and note down your answers.

The telephone assessment should last between 20 minutes and 1 hour, but could take longer if necessary. You can have someone with you at your telephone assessment to offer help and support. This would usually be the person who knows you best and understands you and your needs. For example, this may be a relative, support worker or friend but they must be 16 years old or over. If your support worker or friend cannot be with you in person as a result of the current Government guidelines on social distancing, we can add them to the telephone call. We will ask you for their number and they will need to be ready to answer the phone at the time of your appointment.

How to prepare for your telephone assessment

Be ready for the healthcare professional to call you 10 minutes before the time of your telephone appointment. Ensure your phone is fully charged. Find a quiet place with good signal and no background noise. Think about what will make the telephone call more comfortable, for example using headphones and having a drink of water available.

Frequently asked questions

What will happen if I do not attend a telephone assessment?

You must attend your assessment. If you do not attend your benefit may be stopped. If you have a good reason why you cannot attend, please call the appointments help desk on 0800 288 8777 as soon as possible.

 I missed my telephone assessment appointment, what do I do?

You should contact the Centre for Health and Disability Assessments (CHDA) on 0800 288 8777 as soon as possible.

When will I be invited to attend a Work Capability Assessment?

Due to the current situation with Coronavirus, DWP have now temporarily suspended all face-to-face Work Capability Assessments. We may invite you to have a Work Capability Assessment by telephone instead. If this is the case, you will receive a telephone call or a letter from CHDA to invite you to attend an appointment and to provide you with further details. It may take some time for us to contact all customers. You do not need to contact us. If we do not invite you to a telephone assessment, we will contact you with details of a face-to-face assessment as soon we can.

I have been asked to make myself available for a telephone assessment why is this/what is this about?

DWP have temporarily suspended all face-to-face assessments for health and disability-related benefits. This is to reduce the risk of exposure to Coronavirus and safeguard the health of individuals claiming health and disability benefits. Where possible a healthcare professional will use the evidence you have provided and conduct a Work Capability Assessment by telephone to assess how your illness or disability affects your ability to work. This will help DWP make sure that you are paid the right amount of benefit. 

I cannot get medical evidence from my GP/Hospital to support my Work Capability Assessment at this time? What can I do?

If you cannot get this, DWP will try and make their decision based on what you say at the telephone assessment and any other information they already have. 

What if I want someone with me during the telephone assessment?

As with face-to-face appointments, you can have someone with you at your telephone assessment to offer help and support. This would usually be the person who knows you best and understands you and your needs. For example, this may be a relative, support worker or friend but they must be 16 years old or over. They may be able to speak on your behalf and can offer useful support. However, the assessment will focus on you and the answers you give.

If your support worker/friend cannot be with you in person as a result of the current Government guidelines on social distancing, we can add them to the telephone call. We will ask you for their number and they will need to be ready to answer the phone at the time of your appointment.

What if I need a language interpreter?

Please let us know as soon as possible on 0800 2888777. A relative or friend can be present at your telephone assessment to interpret for you, but they must be 16 years old or over. 
 
How long will a telephone Work Capability Assessment last?

The telephone assessment should last between 20 minutes and 1 hour, but may take longer if necessary.