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Personal Independence Payment

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th May 2011.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Labour, Bridgend

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether he has had discussions with representatives of organisations representing people with fibromyalgia on proposals for face-to-face assessments for the personal independence payments scheme.

Photo of Maria Miller Maria Miller The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Throughout the development of the new personal independence payment we have had extensive discussions and consultation with representatives of organisations representing disabled people and their families, including support groups for individuals with fibromyalgia.

It is, however, important to the Government's approach that the personal independence payment assessment looks at disabled people as individuals and does not just label them by their health condition or impairment. That's why it is being designed to consider an individual's personal circumstances and the support they need, rather than basing eligibility on a specific medical condition.

The new assessment better reflects our understanding of disability in the 21st century and will take account of physical, sensory, mental, intellectual and cognitive impairments. This will ensure that support is targeted on those disabled people whose impairments have the greatest impact on their ability to live independent lives. We will continue to work with disabled people and their organisations as the detail of the assessment criteria and its operation is developed and tested. We had many helpful responses to our public consultation from individuals with fibromyalgia and fibromyalgia support groups in Tonbridge, Eastbourne and Surrey and Sussex, and hope to continue to work with a broad range of groups going forwards.

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