Social Security Benefits: Medical Examinations

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 23rd November 2018.

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Photo of Lilian Greenwood Lilian Greenwood Chair, Transport Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria the Department provides to its partners to assess non-physical disabilities for clients applying for personal independence payment and disability living allowance.

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

Holding answer received on 19 November 2018

The Personal Independence Payment (PIP) process is designed to treat all claimants fairly and with respect. A core tenet of its design is the principle of equivalence between physical and non-physical conditions in order to accurately determine the level of support a person needs.

Health professionals carrying out the assessments have training in multiple and complex conditions such as autism, mental health conditions and learning disabilities.

In addition, the Assessment Providers have Mental Health Champions who are experienced professionals with direct and relevant work experience of helping patients with mental health conditions.

Detailed information of PIP assessment processes and how claimants with mental health conditions are assessed for PIP can be found in the PIP Assessment Guide:

Personal Independence Payment assessment guide for assessment providers - GOV.UK

The proportion of PIP recipients with a mental health condition getting the top rates of support is over five times higher compared to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).

Child DLA is a benefit for children under the age of 16 who, due to a disability or health condition, have mobility issues and/or require substantially more care, attention & supervision than children their age normally would. Child DLA comprises a Care component and a Mobility component; either or both can be claimed, depending on the child’s overall needs and age.

Parents or guardians complete a claim form which requests detailed information about the child and the form is considered by a case manager alongside other evidence such as reports’ from the child’s General Practitioner (GP), consultant and/or school.

Case Managers have access to comprehensive medical guidance and advice from qualified Medical Advisers based at the Child DLA centre. In the vast majority of cases no face to face assessment is required.

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