Social Security Benefits: Disability

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Susan Elan Jones Susan Elan Jones Shadow Minister (Wales)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) medical assessors and (b) others considering applications for (a) personal independence payment and (b) other benefits have knowledge of (i) muscular dystrophy, (ii) neuromuscular conditions and (iii) other rare and progressive conditions.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

All healthcare professionals carrying out assessments receive comprehensive training in disability analysis, which includes the evaluation of how medical conditions affect claimants in their day-to-day activities. Prior to carrying out an assessment, assessors refresh their knowledge of any condition with which they are not fully familiar.

Benefit entitlement is determined by the Department’s decision makers, who receive extensive training to enable them to evaluate a claim and assess a claimant’s needs. In order to make a decision on benefit entitlement the decision maker considers all the available evidence, including the reports received from the healthcare professional and any further evidence, which may include reports from GPs, hospital doctors and other clinicians.

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