Government considers plans to make benefit claimants prove they are depressed – or be stripped of payments
The Department for Work and Pensions said sweeping changes to financial support for people with mental health issues was ‘at the ideas stage’
The Government is considering plans to make mental health patients on benefits prove that they suffer from depression – or risk having their financial support taken away.
As part of a raft of changes now being piloted, those looking to claim benefits who are too ill or disabled to work will now be subject to mental health assessments alongside the existing – and much criticised – system of Work Capability Assessments.
Welfare rules currently state that the Government cannot force claimants to undergo treatment in exchange for receiving their sickness benefits.
But ministers are now reported to be considering a change to that system so that officials can insist people go on courses of treatment like psychological therapy if they want to keep receiving payments.
The Telegraph reported that it is up to Tory ministers to try and convince senior Liberal Democrats that this “tough love” approach is needed to cut down on the welfare budget while helping more people to get treated.
The policy of mandatory treatments may even become part of the Conservative manifesto for next year’s general election, the newspaper said.
A Department for Work and Pensions source told the BBC that such a policy was “very much at the ideas stage”.
It has been reported that 46 per cent of people claiming a £101 a week Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) have mental health issues – suggesting that the Government’s new rules could apply to 260,000 people.
And the Liberal Democrat health minister Norman Lamb said that forcing people to prove their mental health problems by going to therapy was “not a sensible idea”.
He told the Sunday Telegraph: “The idea that you frogmarch someone into therapy with the threat of a loss of benefits simply won't work.
“It is not a question of whether tough love is a good concept,” he said. “You actually need someone to go into therapy willingly.”
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 The 'Black Museum': After 150 years, public set to see exhibits from police’s grisly crime museum
- 4 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 5 UK weather: 'Coldest night of the year' tonight as freezing temperatures plummet to -10C
President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
Exclusive: Abusers using spyware apps to monitor partners reaches 'epidemic proportions'
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk
£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...
£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...