Thérèse Coffey grilled on migration of Universal Credit
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PIP can be claimed by those who have certain debilitating conditions but on top of this, the DWP details Universal Credit, Attendance Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance among others can help those with certain disabilities. For those claiming these state benefits, drastic changes to the entire support system could be on the horizon following a new consultation from the Government.
Yesterday, the DWP launched a new Health and Disability Green Paper which it claimed will “pave the way for a fairer future of the benefits system to better meet the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions.”
This consultation includes changes which could:
- Enable independent living and testing the role of advocacy, so people who need extra help to navigate the benefits system get the right level of support and information first time.
- Review how assessments are carried out including exploring the potential for longer-term use of telephone and video assessments and looking at how reassessments work, including testing a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) for people with severe and life-long conditions that will not improve. This could see those who meet the criteria experiencing a more simplified application process, without the need for an assessment to receive financial support
- Improve support for disabled people to help them start, stay and succeed in work through the Work and Health Programme, Access to Work and on personalising employment support, recognising that one size does not fit all.
This Green Paper follows the recent announcement from the DWP that people entering the final year of their life will have fast-track access to the benefits system.
The six month rule for people nearing the end of their lives claiming benefits will be replaced with a new 12 month, end of life approach, mirroring the current definition of end of life used across the NHS.
Justin Tomlinson, the Minister for Disabled People, commented on the consultation.
Mr Tomlinson said: “I am incredibly pleased that in the course of putting this consultation together, we have been able to identify key themes for improvement.
“We already spend a record amount supporting disabled people and people with health conditions, and have made good progress at supporting more disabled people into work but we are ambitious for further improvement – and I am grateful to the disabled people and stakeholders who have contributed so far.”
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On top of the Green Paper, the Government published its response to the Health is Everyone’s Business consultation, reaffirming the state’s ambition to see one million more disabled people in work by 2027 and outlining how employers will be supported on recruitment, retraining and career progression for disabled people.
The Health and Disability Green Paper is open for 12 weeks, and will run alongside a series of consultation events with disabled people and those with health conditions, and their representatives.
This, the Government detailed, will include events through virtual channels and face-to-face events covering England, Scotland and Wales, in order to maximise the reach of the consultation and inform changes that will improve people’s lives.
Following the consultation, detailed proposals will be brought forward in a White Paper next year, setting out how people can be enabled to take up work and live more independently, and outline the changes the Government wants to make to the benefits system.
For those unsure of their current benefit options, benefits calculators can help narrow down what’s available.
These free-to-use tools can be found online and can help people find out what benefits they could get, how they can be claimed and how the benefits will be impacted by employment.
When using these tools, people will need to have certain information at the ready including details on their savings, income and outgoings.
It should be noted some people will not be able to use these tools such as students, those living outside the UK or prisoners.
The Government itself does not actually provide these tools but it does endorse a number of appropriate organisations who do.
This includes the following options:
- entitledto – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work
- Turn2us – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
- Policy in Practice – for information on income-related benefits, tax credits, contribution-based benefits, Council Tax Reduction, Carer’s Allowance, Universal Credit, how these are calculated and how your benefits will be affected if you start work or change your working hours
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