Disabled workers target – Rudd plans increase

In a recent announcement, Amber Rudd stated that she will review the government target of placing a million more people with disabilities in work by 2027.

At a speech with the disability charity Scope, the work and pensions secretary announced that 270,000 pensioners will not face any further repeat assessments in order to receive disability benefits.

Beginning in the Spring, people who fall into this benefit bracket will no longer need to have their personal independence payments (PIPs) reviewed for them to continue with benefits.

PIP’s were set in place to help disabled people with the extra costs related to their health conditions. Recipients are entitled to up to £145.35 per week.

Amber Rudd shared some information about her own father’s blindness and how his life had been impacted. Her father had become blind in 1981 and for 36 years blindness had been a normal way of life for the family.

Rudd reflected on how his blindness had affected not only her father’s life but the lives of all who loved him. Rudd considers it her role to support disabled people in Britain. Disabled pensioners who have paid into the system for their whole lives deserve the full support of the state at the time when they need it most.

The government intends to ‘change the landscape’ for disabled people by levelling the terrain and smoothing their path.

In the past PIP’s have been widely criticised by some charities who believe that they do not consider any mental health conditions some pensioners may have. They also leave many pensioners concerned that their benefits will be stopped if they fail their reviews.

Claire Turner, who is the Director of Evidence at the Centre for Ageing Better, says that she welcomes the support from the government to get more disabled people back into work.

Figures show that 33% of people aged between 50-64 years of age are out of work. Surveys go on to show that one million would prefer to be working but cannot due to ill-health or disability.

Turner went on to say that with the right support from employers, including common sense adaptions and flexible work options, many disabled people could be back in work.

Companies need to make sure that good quality work is the norm and not the exception, with employers actively promoting such things as age-friendly conditions, flexible working schedules, and better support for employees with disabilities and health conditions.

The government needs to provide more than just targets. They need to promote a ‘joined-up approach’ which supports employees with disabilities. Furthermore, they need to give guidance to employers as well as workers on what support is available.

Chief Executive at Scope, Mark Hodgkinson stated that he welcomed the change to PIP assessments, although he felt that there still needed to be a more radical overhaul regarding the benefits system for disabled people.

He concluded by saying that disabled people also wanted to see action in place to remove counterproductive benefit sanctions that only make it more difficult for disabled people to get into work.


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