To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what specialist support is being provided to welfare claimants with (a) Asperger’s Syndrome and (b) other conditions on the spectrum, to assist them in the application process; and what plans he has to introduce an application format that takes into account an individual's specific needs.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has an established approach to identifying and providing an appropriate level of support to all its customers who are vulnerable. DWP identifies any “individual who is identified as having complex needs and/or requires additional support to enable them to access DWP benefits and use our services” as being vulnerable. This definition ensures that we have consistency and continuity in the type and level of service that is being offered and that it supports the customer appropriately whatever their individual needs.
DWP adopts this approach, at all points of contact with the customer, and uses its records to ensure, where an individual is identified as being vulnerable, we take all reasonable steps to try to mitigate any risks.
DWP will continue to follow our established approach working with the individual and with their consent we will, where necessary, contact any relevant organisations to provide the appropriate levels of support.
DWP continually monitors our products and services to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers and, where necessary, make any changes that improve the level of service we provide.