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Mind reacts to EHRC investigation into Department of Work and Pensions

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 Mind

Britain’s equality regulator, the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), has today launched an investigation into the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions over concerns about the treatment of some disabled benefits claimants.

The investigation has been launched due to suspicions that successive Secretaries of State may have broken equality law in their roles as Minister responsible for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The investigation is focussing on whether the DWP failed to make reasonable adjustments for disabled people with learning disabilities or long-term mental health conditions during health assessment determinations.

Megan Pennell, Head of Public Affairs at Mind, said:

“This is extremely concerning but sadly it echoes what we hear from people with mental health problems on a daily basis - that the DWP is failing to make assessments fair for people with mental health problems. Research carried out by Mind found that almost 7 in 10 people (66%) felt that going through the benefits assessment process made their mental health worse.

“We have been calling for assessment reform for years, and so we’re pleased that the EHRC is investigating this. Our social security system, like our NHS, should be there for us all, especially when we need it most. The UK Government needs to create a new commission, led by disabled people, to create a more compassionate and functioning benefits assessment system.”

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