To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that parity of esteem between mental and physical health extends to the social security system.
This Department is committed to providing the best possible support to people who have health conditions and disabilities. Assessments used in determining entitlement to disability and incapacity benefits have been designed to assess the impacts of both mental and physical health conditions, and looks at the individual and what they are able and capable of doing, rather than assessing by condition. We also provide a wide range of support designed to help people better manage their conditions, to live more independent lives and take positive steps to return to work, where this is right for the individual.
Universal Credit is simplifying the benefits system and provides enhanced personalised support for people. All claimants, including vulnerable claimants and those with mental health conditions, receive continuous tailored support managed through personal work coaches, who know each person. We have started to deliver additional training in mental health that will be available to work coaches to build their expertise and provide the most effective support.
Work coaches work closely with people on Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance equivalent and agree personalised support to help move them closer to the workplace.