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Social Security Benefits: Fibromyalgia

Volume 506: debated on Tuesday 2 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance her Department has issued to examining medical practitioners carrying out assessments for eligibility for disability living allowance and employment and support allowance on fibromyalgia. (318398)

All examining Atos Healthcare professionals, who carry out examining assessments on behalf of the Department, undertake a distance learning module on fibromyalgia within 12 months of joining the organisation. The distance learning module is approved by the chief medical adviser to the Department. In addition, they are required to undertake a programme of continuing medical education that is agreed with the Department. A module on chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia is included in the suite of continuing medical education topics available to the health care professionals.

Entitlement to disability living allowance is not based on the diagnosis of a particular disability or illness but on the effects of disability on the individual person. It is the information about care and/or mobility needs which a person provides on the claim form, supported where necessary by medical reports from a GP or Atos Healthcare professional, which allows the decision-maker to determine entitlement.