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More MS news articles for November 2002

Changes to Incapacity Benefit planned

http://www.mssociety.org.uk/news_events/news/daily/benefit_changes.html

20 November 2002

The Government has launched a package of new measures designed to help people with an illness or disability off benefits and back to work.

Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith said, "Everyone who wants to work should have the right to. People on Incapacity Benefit who want to work are faced with a system where too much seems stacked against them."

The measures are set out for consultation in a Green Paper, 'Pathways to work: helping people into employment'.

From October 2003, the Government plans to launch a pilot scheme in six areas. Work and Pensions Secretary Andrew Smith said, "Everyone who wants to work should have the right to. People on Incapacity Benefit who want to work are faced with a system where too much seems stacked against them."

The measures are set out for consultation in a Green Paper, 'Pathways to work: helping people into employment'.

From October 2003, the Government plans to launch a pilot scheme in six areas.

New claimants will go through a series of up to six 'work-focused interviews with a personal adviser. Those with severe disability will be exempt.

Joint programmes will combine support to find jobs through Jobcentre Plus advisers with health-focused rehabilitation delivered in collaboration with the NHS.

Greater financial incentives to work will include a Return to Work credit of £40 a week for 52 weeks, for those finding a job paying less than £15,000 a year, and access to a discretionary fund of up to £300 to help find a job.

There will be more support for people with health problems who move from an incapacity benefit to Job Seeker's Allowance.

Said Mr Smith, "All this will be delivered within the context of improved support among employers and health care professionals and comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation for people with disabilities."

"This is not about forcing sick or disabled people into work. It is about encouraging people to look at their options and helping those who want to work to achieve their goal of getting a job."