The Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson has launched the Health and Disability Green Paper. It focuses on how the Government can be an ally and improve support for disabled people and those with health conditions, through both the benefits system and employment support.
It marks the opening of a consultation and are keen that as many people as possible have the opportunity to contribute. It should pave the way for a fairer future of the benefits system to better meet the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions. The 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.
The Health and Disability Green Paper can be read in full here.
Edel Harris, Chief Executive of the learning disability charity Mencap, says it’s devastating news for all those who rely on social care today, including many people with a learning disability.
It has been 2 years since the Prime Minister promised to fix social care “once and for all”. Every month where reform is delayed is another month of going without for people with a learning disability and their family carers.
Richard Kramer, Chief Executive at disability charity Sense, welcomes the publication of the Health and Disability Green Paper and are looking forward to the opportunity to help shape the welfare benefits system for disabled people.
In its current form the welfare benefits system does not work for many disabled people. It’s time to fully review and change how the system works for disabled people and ensure that they can easily access the benefits they are entitled to claim.