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Your chance to change the benefits system

LAST week disability charities expressed their outrage over the lack on involvement with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new National Disability Strategy.

Now, the Government is urging disabled people to have their say in shaping the future of the benefits system by responding to the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation.

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said: “Responses from the Green Paper consultation will help us create a fairer benefits system that better serves the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions, now and in the future.

“We have identified key areas for change and with your input, we can make these a reality that have a lasting and meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

The consultation includes possible changes, which could:

Enable independent living and test 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.

An online survey is running alongside a series of events with disabled people and those with health conditions and their representatives. This includes virtual and face-to-face events.

Following the consultation, which closes on 11 October, detailed proposals will be brought forward in a White Paper next year.

The survey is also available in other formats. Contact 0800 0153110.

Face to face events:

Thursday 2 September – Employment support event in Shrewsbury

Wednesday 8 September – Re-thinking assessments event in Norwich

Virtual events:

Monday 6 September – Re-thinking assessments

Wednesday 22 September – Employment support

Thursday 30 September – Improving the design of the benefits system

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