Ministers consider mandatory anxiety and depression treatment for ESA claimants

July 14, 2014 11:56 am

The Telegraph reports that the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions will soon be launching a series of pilot schemes to examine ways of combining treatment for mental health problems with support to find work for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants who are deemed to be capable of working with the proper support. The pilots come amid considerations by Ministers on whether to impose mandatory mental health treatment as a condition for receiving benefits, after it was estimated that 46% (or 260,000 people) of benefit claimants receiving ESA have mental health problems. Estimates put the cost of ESA payments for this group at £1.4 billion annually, while it is believed that treatment could reduce the number of benefit claimants with mental health issues by up to 90%. One trial has already been launched with four Jobcentres participating, with three more pilots expected to begin throughout the summer.

The proposals are likely to draw criticism from charities and campaigners, who already claim that welfare reforms have severely affected vulnerable people, as well as raise the ethical question of whether the state should have the power to  dictate treatment to patients. Liberal Democrat Minister for Care Normal Lamb has already stated that the system will not work, adding that it is “not a sensible idea”.

The proposal is likely to be included in the Conservative manifesto for the General Election

July 14, 2014 11:56 am

*/?>

If you would like to receive information and analysis on policy developments across our specialist sectors, please complete the following, indicating what sectors you would like to receive information on:







Contact us

We would be delighted to hear from you. If you would like to get in touch with us, please contact us on 020 7463 0690 or use the form below.

We look forward to hearing from you.

For media enquiries, please contact Mayar Raouf on 020 7463 0698 / 0750 232 7092, or email Mayar.Raouf@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk.

Contact us via email

Sign up for the latest news

  • * Denotes required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Contact us

  • * Denotes Required fields
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.