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Social Security Benefits: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what steps he is taking to implement the recommendations of the clinical guidelines of August 2007 by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence on Chronic Fatigue/Syndrome Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in relation to benefits applicants; (166949)

(2) if he will review the questionnaire and medical examination process established by his Department for benefits applicants with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in light of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's report of August 2007.

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 544w.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will review the Jobcentre Plus questionnaire Incapacity for Work (Form JB65) for those with Chronic Fatigue/Syndrome Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in light of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's report of August 2007. (166952)

The report of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is about the way chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis is treated within the NHS. The Department recognises chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis as a real and potentially very disabling condition. Each person claiming benefit is assessed on the basis of the way the condition affects them as an individual.

Jobcentre Plus has a number of forms for customers who claim Incapacity Benefit irrespective of their illness and/or their disability. Although there are no plans to review these forms as result of the NICE report, all forms/letters are reviewed annually.