Employment and Support Allowance: Motor Neurone Disease

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th January 2018.

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Photo of Christine Jardine Christine Jardine Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Scotland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 13 July 2017 to Question 3475 on Employment and Support Allowance: Motor Neurone Disease, if he will publish the process required for the 600 people with motor neurone disease who were in the support group for Employment and Support Allowance on 29 September when the severe conditions exemption commenced and are due a reassessment; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Sarah Newton Sarah Newton The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

It is important to ensure that decisions on whether someone meets the severe conditions criteria are based on a Work Capability Assessment. This way the claimant has the best opportunity to share with us the most up to date information about the functional impacts of their health condition.

Guidance used by Healthcare Professionals, who undertake the Assessments, has been designed to have the least possible impact on claimants. We will ask claimants to complete a new health questionnaire, and where appropriate we will ask their General Practitioner or Specialist Healthcare Professional for further, supporting evidence, so that in the vast majority of cases we should be able to make a decision on whether someone meets the criteria without the need for a face to face assessment.

I am meeting the Motor Neurone Disease Association in February to discuss the implications of the introduction of the severe condition criteria.

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