Social Security Benefits: Neurology

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th February 2019.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have a neurological condition applying for assessment for (a) personal independence payment and (b) employment and support allowance who are assessed by an appropriate health care professional for that neurological condition in each year for which information is available.

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

Holding answer received on 08 February 2019

The information requested is not available.

Medical condition data is collected from the point of claim on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from claimants’ fit notes, and at Work Capability Assessments (WCA). DWP statistics on the number of applications for ESA are grouped into medical conditions based on the International Classification of Diseases 10th Revision (ICD10) published by the World Health Organisation and do not include a specific group of neurological conditions. Information on the number of initial ESA WCA applications by available groups of medical conditions are available at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk. The Departments’ choice of system for recording groups of medical conditions does not affect the correct administration the benefits individual recipients are entitled to.

In the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) application process, claimants’ main disabling condition is only recorded for collation by the Department at assessment. It is not recorded at the point of application. The Department does not therefore hold data on the number of applicants to PIP with particular conditions. Only those who have a disability assessment determination decision will have a main disabling condition recorded for them. Information on the number of initial decisions made by disabling condition for claimants who had an assessment is published in the PIP clearances table and available at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk. PIP main disabling conditions are recorded using a different system to ESA.

Guidance for users of Stat Xplore is available at:

https://sw.stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

All assessments of claimants to ESA and PIP are carried out by appropriate Health Professionals. They are functional assessments which focus not on a claimant’s condition but on the functional effects of that condition. All Health Professionals have passed strict recruitment and experience criteria and are registered with a relevant regulatory body.

Healthcare Professionals carrying out assessments for PIP and WCAs for ESA must have 2 years of clinical experience (or less than 2 years post full registration experience by individual agreement with the Department) and are trained to undertake functional assessments. In addition, they complete training on neurological conditions and have access to a range of relevant resources.

Health Professionals can engage with claimants’ specialists where necessary to gather supporting medical evidence.

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