To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department has taken steps to ensure that benefits claimants in financial hardship can obtain letters which are required to progress their claims from their GP without having to pay for such letters; and if she will make a statement.
We advise claimants not to seek additional evidence in support of their claim which they may be charged for, such as from GPs. Where an assessment provider determines that additional medical evidence from a GP could prove helpful they will request that evidence from the GP directly.
GPs are obliged through their contract with NHS England to provide the assessment provider with medical evidence for Employment and Support Allowance free-of-charge. For Personal Independence Payment, we pay GPs a standard fee (currently £33.50) for completing a General Practitioner Factual Report.
In the Government’s response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee report on Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance Assessments we set out our commitment to continue improving the customer experience for both, including opportunities for better data sharing.