Benefits assessments still failing many with MH problems

On 9 February the Work and Pensions Committee released their interim first report into the experiences of disabled people claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), benefits intended to provide support for disabled people to live independently, or to manage the costs related to being out of work.

Nearly 3,500 people provided evidence - an ‘unprecedented public response to a departmental select committee inquiry’ – according to the Committee. The report was described by the Committee as a ‘tribute to their efforts and bravery in submitting evidence and a reflection of the importance of recognising the human consequences of policy shortcomings.’ They have called on the Government to address these issues urgently, saying ‘those who have taken the time and effort to contact us deserve a speedy and substantive response from the Government.’ The full report – detailing recommendations for Government and proposals for reform – will be released on Wednesday 14 February.

The interim report recognises that people with mental health problems make up over one in three (36 per cent) of those receiving PIP and nearly one in two (49 per cent) of those receiving ESA. It highlights some shocking experiences of people with mental health problems going through benefits assessments.

    Full story: National Mind

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