Social Care

Are there any changes to direct payments? Can we look at using direct payments to families where their usual support workers (perhaps provided by a service or agency) can no longer support them because of COVID-19? Can Direct Payments be used for other types of support, if the usual support is not available?


ECC Guidance on Direct Payments during COVID-19 Essex Social Care has produced guidance for families on how they can use direct payments more flexibly and responsively during this time.   


New Government guidance can be found here

In Essex Social Care teams are piloting new ways of supporting families to help minimise the additional strain that coronavirus is placing on families at this time. This may be caused by the virus affecting families directly, or by the virus affecting one or more of the sources of support.


What happens to things like Disability Living Allowance (DLA) and Personal Independence Payment (PIP) renewals if people cannot gather the information they need to renew the claim?

Health & Disability benefits
All reassessment and renewal activity on health and disability benefits including Disability Living Allowance will be suspended for a period of 3 months from 24 March.

Carer’s Allowance

Carers will continue to be paid Carer’s Allowance when they have temporarily ceased to care for a severely disabled person due to either of them self-isolating or being infected with COVID-19. During the COVID-19 pandemic, emotional support can also count towards the 35 hours a week you spend caring for someone who is ill or has a disability.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
If you are claiming or considering claiming PIP, all medical assessments will be carried out by telephone or by considering medical evidence submitted by post. Face to face assessments for new claims have been suspended for a period of three months from 16 March. New reviews and reassessments for PIP have been suspended for a period of three months from 24 March.