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Social Security Benefits: Interviews

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether Jobcentre Plus plans to employ medical professionals to interview incapacity benefit claimants who would be transferred to the jobseeker’s allowance scheme under the proposals of the Welfare Reform Bill. (274424)

[holding answer 11 May 2009]: We have announced that we plan to migrate existing recipients of incapacity benefits to employment and support allowance. Recipients will have to undertake a work capability assessment in order to determine their eligibility for employment and support allowance. Health care professionals defined in legislation as:

a registered medical practitioner;

a registered nurse; or

an occupational therapist or physiotherapist registered with a regulatory body established by an Order in Council under section 60 of the Health Act 1999 (and);

are employed by our contractors to undertake these assessments. This measure is not provided for by the Welfare Reform Bill currently before Parliament, but by the Welfare Reform Act 2007.