Social Security Benefits: Chronic Illnesses

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 23 April 2024.

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Photo of Carol Monaghan Carol Monaghan Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Education), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Science, Innovation and Technology)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill on the (a) physical and (b) mental wellbeing of people with (i) M.E. and (ii) other chronic diseases.

Photo of Paul Maynard Paul Maynard The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The department has assessed the impact of the third-party data measure in the regulatory impact assessment scrutinised and green-rated by the Regulatory Policy Committee. This was published on the 27th November 2023 as part of the supporting documentation for the Data Protection and Information Bill and is available here: Data Protection and Digital Information Bill: supporting documents - GOV.UK (

The department has fulfilled all the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and in line with our statutory duty keeps the impact of this measure on groups with protected characteristics under continuous review.

In 22/23, DWP overpaid over £8bn due to fraud and error. This is unacceptable and we are taking robust steps to tackle this.

The third party data legislation we are seeking is one such approach. The focus of this power will be about finding signals of potential benefit fraud and error.

The measure does not target a particular group of benefit claimant and we have tried and tested safeguarding procedures to protect vulnerable groups and will follow business as usual processes.

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