Social Security Benefits: Asperger's Syndrome

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 24th July 2018.

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Photo of Marion Fellows Marion Fellows SNP Whip, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Small Business, Enterprise and Innovation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the replacement of Aspergers with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in the fifth edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders on the ability of people with Aspergers to claim personal independence payment and employment support allowance as a result of being required to secure a new diagnosis when proving that their condition affects their daily living.

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

The publication of the fifth edition of the Diagnosis and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has had no impact on the eligibility criteria for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or for Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is designed to determine an individual’s eligibility for ESA. It assesses individuals against a set of functional physical and mental health descriptors to assess how their health condition or disability affects their ability to work.

Entitlement for PIP is assessed on the basis of the needs arising from a long-term health condition or disability, not the health condition or the disability itself.

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