DWP Video Ratings for PIP, Universal Credit, and ESA Benefit Applicants May Increase After New Agreement Announced

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) awarded a multi-million pound contract to leading specialist video provider, Involve Visual Collaboration Limited, to host and record video assessments for health benefit claimants as an alternative to meetings face to face.

The initial two-year contract is worth £ 3.95million, with the possibility of extending it for another two years, for a total value of £ 7.79million.

The contract is a critical part of DWP’s strategic digital video project, which increases efficiency and cost savings by virtualizing the benefits service available to claimants across the UK, a situation that has emerged. accelerated due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A recent DWP national statistics report found that the total number of benefit claimants increased rapidly in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, from 20.5 million in February 2020 to 23 million in February 2021 .

Due to the economic disruption caused by the coronavirus, the DWP has sought alternative ways to be able to support customers cost-effectively, quickly and efficiently, while ensuring the safety of public sector workers.

The focus of the DWP is to provide accessible, efficient and fair services to all clients, and reviews have traditionally been carried out through face-to-face consultations.

However, to respond to the increase in the number of benefit claimants resulting from the pandemic and to overcome the challenges clients may face in attending in-person appointments, the DWP has introduced video call assessments for certain benefits. and fields of activity.

These include:

  • Personal Independent Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit
  • Industrial industries disability allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ASE)
  • Fraud investigations

As part of this important contract, Involve will support and manage cloud-based SaaS technology in conjunction with its partner, Induction Healthcare Group, to deliver its online video assessment platform – Induction Attend Anywhere.

The platform will allow DWP assessors to host and record secure and reliable video assessments with applicants on their financial support needs, as an alternative to an in-person meeting.

Virtual assessments will improve accessibility to DWP services, as clients will be able to attend remotely, which will reduce absences from work and reduce travel and childcare costs.

Virtual meetings will also mitigate the health risks associated with Covid-19 and allow people with reduced mobility or disabilities to access the support they need more easily.

Involve said that the DWP prioritizes the need for personal assessments and that this technology will allow them to provide a more efficient service that lowers operational costs, reduces customer wait times and gives customers more flexibility, while maintaining important in-person contact.

Involve has over 30 years of experience providing audiovisual and collaborative solutions to the healthcare, corporate, legal and public sector markets, including key contracts with the NHS, Her Majesty’s Prisons and the Department of Defense.

Commenting on the contract, Mick Roach, Director of Strategic Alliances at Involve, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a huge increase in demand for virtual meetings, due to the challenges of in-person meetings.

“As a result, the public sector has had to adapt and accelerate its digital transformation to support those it serves.

“Having seen the positive impact video technology has had in healthcare, we are delighted to partner with DWP to provide more accessible service to their customers. ”

Involve was chosen from a shortlist of providers following a competitive process.

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