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Volume 634: debated on Friday 19 January 2018

Supporting people with mental health conditions is a top priority for this Government. We are committed to ensuring our welfare system is a strong safety net for those who need it. That is why we spend over £50 billion a year supporting people with disabilities and health conditions—more than ever before.

Disabled people and people with health conditions, including mental health conditions, deserve the very best support. Personal independence payment (PIP) replaced the out dated disability living allowance (DLA) system, with 66% of PIP recipients with mental health conditions receiving the higher rate of the benefit, compared with just 22% under DLA.

On 21 December 2017 the High Court published its judgment in the judicial review challenge against regulation 2(4) of the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 S.I. 2017/194. The regulations reversed the effect of the upper tribunal judgment in MH.

I wish to inform the House that, after careful consideration, I have decided not to appeal the High Court judgment. My Department will now take all steps necessary to implement the judgment in MH in the best interests of our claimants, working closely with disabled people and key stakeholders over the coming months.

Although I and my Department accept the High Court’s judgment, we do not agree with some of the detail contained therein. Our intention has always been to deliver the policy intent of the original regulations, as approved by Parliament, and to provide the best support to claimants with mental health conditions.

The Department for Work and Pensions will now undertake an exercise to go through all affected cases in receipt of PIP and all decisions made following the judgment in MH to identify anyone who may be entitled to more as a result of the judgment. We will then write to those individuals affected, and all payments will be backdated to the effective date in each individual claim.

I hope that by making this statement it is clear that the Government are committed to improving the lives of people with mental health conditions.