personal finance

DWP tipped to to unleash benefits reforms hitting hundreds of thousands of claimants

Ministers have drawn up large benefit changes for people who are unable to work due to health conditions, it has been reported.

The gradual change would save the welfare budget around £4billion.

If these changes reported by the BBC go ahead, many more people suffering from a range of physical and mental health conditions will be forced to find work despite any difficulties.

The proposals follow the announcement in March that the government wants to scrap the controversial Work Capability Assessment.

The Work Capability Assessment is used to determine if people can receive additional benefits payments due to a health condition.

Those eligible can receive £390 a month on top of their universal credit payment.

The change would see those waiting for help may not recieve additional help, but instead be expetected to look for work.

The BBC explained the changes would initially affect new claimants.

Those already claiming benefits will eventually be brought in to the new system by the end of the decade. However they would be given transitional protection if their benefits were to be cut.

Those who currently receive the additional money are placed in one of two categories of people deemed unfit to work:

  • either having “limited capability for work-related activity” if they receive universal credit
  • or in the support group if they receive employment and support allowance

Under the new proposals, these categories would be scrapped, the additional benefit would not be paid, and work coaches in Job Centres would determine how much effort a person had to make to find a job.

Those considered not to be trying hard enough could be threatened with having their benefits sanctioned. There would be some exceptions, such as for people being treated for cancer and those with a terminal illness.


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