Social Security Benefits: Mental Illness

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 7th September 2020.

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Photo of Zarah Sultana Zarah Sultana Labour, Coventry South

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to allow health and disability benefit claimants with mental health illnesses to choose assessment types that are accessible to their needs during the covid-19 outbreak.

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

In March we suspended all face-to-face assessments for sickness and disability benefits in order to protect people from unnecessary risk of coronavirus at the outset of the pandemic. As has always been the case, our assessment providers will initially try to complete paper-based assessments, where there is sufficient evidence to make a recommendation. If this is not the case, providers will currently look to carry out a telephone assessment, where appropriate. We offer reasonable adjustments for claimants who may need additional support to engage in a telephone assessment. We continue to work closely with our assessment providers to ensure that claimants can be assessed as quickly as possible, by the most appropriate channel.

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