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Social Security Benefits: Mental Illness

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 211811, tabled on 23 January 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance is provided to assessors for dealing with claimants' with mental health problems in personal independence payment and work capability assessments.

Answered on

1 February 2019

Health Professionals undertaking PIP and ESA assessments have at least 2 years post full registration experience (this refers to either UK registration or equivalent overseas registration for non-UK HCPs) or less than 2 years post full registration experience by prior, written agreement with the Department.

All Health Professionals receive training on how to assess the impact of mental health conditions on claimants. This is followed by on-going professional training and support which continues for the duration of their employment in the role.

In addition, Mental Health Function Champions support Health Professionals by providing additional expertise about mental health, cognitive, developmental and learning disabilities and can be referred to at any time during the assessment process.

Health Professionals make every attempt to obtain the best evidence available to assist them in undertaking the assessment. This includes accessing evidence from Community Mental Health Teams, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical professionals. Health Assessment Providers frequently engage with medical experts, charities and relevant stakeholders to strengthen, review and update training programmes for all their assessment staff.