DWP to change assessment guidance for certain state benefitswritten by Bella Palmer
PIP is available to certain people under state pension age with long-term illnesses, disabilities or mental health conditions
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will change how people with mental health conditions will be assessed for certain state benefits, including Personal Independence Payment (PIP).
PIP is available to certain people under state pension age with long-term illnesses, disabilities or mental health conditions. The payments are designed to help people meet everyday living costs and are claimed by approximately 2.8 million people.
Updated guidelines related to PIP published by the government include details on the capability of assessment providers to audio record face-to-face and phone consultations. They also see changes in the section on covert recordings by claimants.
However, claimant advice organisation Benefits and Work has spotted that it also includes improved guidance for assessors on the significance of whether or not a claimant with a mental health condition is receiving medication, reports the Express.
Assessors may incorrectly interpret an occurrence when a claimant with a condition such as depression is not receiving any medication as evidence that their condition has very little effect on their daily living or mobility needs. However, the updated guidance now points out that the severity of a mental health condition ‘does not necessarily correspond with the type or dosage of medication that the claimant is receiving’.
The guidance highlights that factors such as side effects, problems complying with a medication regime or the medication not being effective for that individual may all result in someone with a severe condition not receiving medication. It also goes on to say that assessors should take into account the use of treatments such as psychological therapies instead of medication.
The update on mental health medication states: When considering mental health medication HPs (Health Professionals) should remember that not all claimants with a mental health condition will be on medication or receiving therapy. Severity of a mental health condition does not necessarily correspond with the type or dosage of medication that the claimant is receiving.
Britons could receive payments between £23.70 and £152.15 each week depending on the severity of their condition. It’s advisable to conduct a benefit check every six months just in case people can qualify for a cash boost in this hard time.
This article is for information purposes only.
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