Thousands of benefit claimants could be called back in for face-to-face assessments this month, as new changes following the three month suspension come into force.

The Department for Work and Pensons (DWP) said in-person assessments which are used to calculate payment levels for those on health and disability benefits, could restart for those on disability benefits from July.

On March 16, the Government introduced a three month ban on face-to-face assessments.

Assessments were instead done over the phone or on the basis of written evidence.

The temporary move, which came into effect on Tuesday March 17, 2020, affected those on Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), Universal Credit or Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB).

However, it's now issued an update as coronavirus restrictions are eased across thousands of businesses and retailers.

The Government said the suspension will continue but added that some review and reassessment activity will gradually resume from July 2020 for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

In a statement it said: "This temporary suspension, initially brought in for three months to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic, will remain in place following a consideration of the latest public health guidance. We will announce any changes to this in due course.

"All services remain open and people are encouraged to make a claim if they believe they need support, or to update the department on a change of their circumstances.

"As measures are taken across the country to ease restrictions, the department will also gradually resume some review and reassessment activity which had been put on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"We will shortly be restarting review and renewal activity in PIP and DLA, starting with those claims which were already underway when this activity was suspended."

The latest announcement means anyone who makes a new claim or is due an assessment will be contacted, if necessary, to discuss next steps, which could involve either telephone or paper-based assessments.

The DWP said it will shortly be writing to some PIP and DLA claimants asking them to complete paperwork to resume their reviews, reassessments and renewals.

For PIP cases where paperwork has already been returned, claimants may be contacted by one of the DWP's Assessment Providers.