To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department made when preparing its benefit assessment process of the potential detrimental effects of that process on claimants suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
16 October 2017
We have consulted and engaged widely, and continue to do so, with disabled people, carers and representative organisations, to ensure the Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) assessment processes work smoothly and efficiently for all claimants, regardless of their condition or disability.
We do recognise that attending a face-to-face assessment can be a stressful experience for some people, which is why we do not carry out such consultations where there is enough existing evidence to carry out a paper-based assessment.
Where a face-to-face consultation is required, we encourage claimants to bring another person with them to consultations where they would find this helpful to, for example, reassure them or to help them during the consultation. The person chosen is at the discretion of the claimant and might be, but is not limited to, a parent, family member, friend, carer, or advocate. Health Professionals are medically qualified professionals and as such, they have the appropriate skills to enable them to deal with people in a supportive and sensitive way.
Specific condition insight reports on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are now available to all health professionals working for our Assessment Providers.