What is it about?

Over the last 2 decades medical assessments to determine eligibility for social security benefits (e.g., Personal Independence Payment, Employment Support Allowance) have been delivered by private companies. This paper highlights significant problems with current practices, particularly for people with mental health problems. It argues that there is an urgent need for an alternative approach.

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Why is it important?

This paper highlights that the current system is ideologically driven, and results in services which often fail to meet the most basic of customer service standards.


While the current system remains, it is important that vulnerable benefit claimants are supported with the process. Best practice guidelines for supporting claimants with social security medical assessments are presented; these make a new contribution by highlighting the approach needed by professionals to effectively navigate the privatized benefit assessment process.

Richard Machin
Nottingham Trent University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: New development: The commodification of social security medical assessments—academic analysis and practitioner experience, Public Money & Management, August 2023, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/09540962.2023.2244785.
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