Social Security Benefits: Mental Illness

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will take steps to increase cooperation between his Department and the Department of Health in using Improving Access to Psychological Therapies to help those on sickness and disability benefit back to work.

Photo of Mark Harper Mark Harper Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

People on incapacity benefits who have depression or an anxiety disorder can access IAPT services via either their GP or self-referral. Whilst Jobcentre Plus work coaches are not medical experts, part of their role is to appreciate how a claimant’s health condition may impact on their ability to move into and remain in work and make them aware of support that may help manage their health condition. This can include signposting to talking therapies (IAPT services.)

To further improve the offer of support, this government is, for the first time, co-commissioning evidence-based models of service delivery that combine addressing employment needs and mental health support. We have taken forward a number of voluntary pilots to explore the most promising approaches including embedding personalised employment support in talking therapy services.

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