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Personal Independence Payment: Autism

Volume 615: debated on Monday 17 October 2016

2. What assessment his Department has made of the effect of the introduction of personal independence payment on benefit claimants with autism. (906578)

The personal independence payment assessment is designed with all health conditions and impairments in mind, including autism. About 38% of those with autism are currently receiving higher rates of PIP.

Autism is a complex medical condition, and there is a fundamental failure in the personal independence payment system in that assessments are being made by people who have no detailed knowledge of the medical condition involved. Will the new Secretary of State and the Minister assess whether it is possible to have real medics and people with professional medical opinions carrying out assessments, so that these people can be looked after?

I thank the hon. Gentleman for raising the important fact that the assessment and the person’s experience of it are appropriate. He is quite wrong to say that these are not healthcare professionals. Both our assessment providers’ training covers autism. Capital and Atos give their health professionals specific information that has been developed by the National Autistic Society.