The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has plans to force those who are long-term unemployed to take up work placement or guaranteed jobs if they are unable to land a job themselves. The DWP has stated these measures should help deliver over £1.5bn in budget savings from welfare reform over the next four years.
Incapacity Benefit (IB) is provided to those who are unable to work due to illness or disability as a form of government provided income protection and was introduced prior to Employment and Support Allowance which was introduced in October 2008. The plans are to abolish Incapacity Benefit this year with all claimants facing reassessment as part of the Government’s review of the UK’s benefits system.
From October all claimants of Incapacity Benefit will be reassessed with a new Work Capability Assessment which looks at what they can feasibly do in terms of work and what help they need to undertake a suitable role, rather than on whether they could do their previous job. The DWP expects this to mean more people will be found fit for work and aim they aim to support this by provide extra intensive support from day one to help them in the transition back to work.
Following the Work Capability Assessment those who are still found unable to work will move the Incapacity Benefits replacement known as Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). The new style support holds stronger conditions attached to it’s payment and includes more support to help them if possible make the transition to the workforce.
Those claiming Long-term Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) will be guaranteed a job or work placement, with those who have been out of work for two years required to take up the offer.
Yvette Cooper, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions believes this is a “something for something” approach removing the need for any person in a position to work to lead a life long existence on benefits. Getting people back to work is good for families, boosts local economies and helps the public finances too.”
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