Universal Credit: Mental Illness

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26 July 2019.

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Photo of Thangam Debbonaire Thangam Debbonaire Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2019 on Universal Credit: Mental Illness, whether her Department provides support visits for benefit claimants in secure psychiatric settings.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The Department is committed to supporting vulnerable claimants, such as those with mental health conditions. We understand that these claimants may face extra challenges in their lives. Universal Credit is designed to target resources at those that need them most and to provide support for people who cannot work or need extra help moving towards the labour market.

If a claimant is unable to complete their business transaction through any other channel, a referral for a visit is sent to DWP Visiting. The majority of DWP Visiting work takes place in claimants’ homes, however appointments can be arranged at an alternative place such as a hospital or low secure unit.

We recognise the importance of understanding how a mental health condition impacts someone’s ability to prepare for and look for work. That is why we have developed a range of specialised mental health training for work coaches and increased the number of Disability Employment Advisers who can provide additional support where needed.

The Department is committed to the provision of a safe and healthy working environment for employees and claimants, therefore all our visits, irrespective of location, are individually risk assessed which determines the most appropriate means of engagement.

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