DWP encourages PIP, ESA and Universal Credit claimants to take part in live benefit reform events this month

By Linda Howard

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) recently published its ‘Shaping Future Support: the Health and Disability Green Paper’ which outlined the UK Government’s proposals to improve the experience of disabled people and those with health conditions using their services.

Alongside a 12-week consultation, which closes on October 11, the DWP has announced a series of events for disabled people, those with health conditions and their representatives, which includes virtual and face-to-face opportunities to participate and express their opinions on the proposals.

There are several events currently available to sign up for including one in Glasgow on Wednesday, September 29 called, ‘Re-thinking Assessments’ where the DWP is asking for “your views on alternative approaches to health and disability benefit assessments”.

Face-to-face assessments were suspended during lockdown due to public health guidance and replaced with telephone, video call and paper-based consultations, however, these restarted in May this year.

The DWP said: “Don’t miss the chance to shape the future of the benefits system by responding to the Shaping future support: the health and disability green paper consultation.”

The events currently available to sign up to are listed below, with more events to come.

The online events will be held via Microsoft Teams.

Online Events

Wednesday, September 22: Employment Support

This event is fully booked.

Thursday, September 30: Improving the design of the benefits system

In this event, the DWP will ask for your views on changes that could be made to the structure of the main working-age health and disability benefits.

DWP asks that if you reserve a place at any of the events but then find you cannot attend, please log in to your Eventbrite account and cancel your reservation as this will allow someone else to attend.

Face to Face Events

Canterbury - Thursday, September 16: Employment Support

Bournemouth – Thursday, September 23: Improving the design of the benefits system

Leeds – Tuesday, September 28: Employment Support

Glasgow – Wednesday, September 29: Re-thinking Assessments

Consultation overview

The DWP states that the Health and Disability Green Paper 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 full Health and Disability Green Paper can be read online at GOV.UK here.

You can give your views on The Health and Disability Green Paper by taking part in the consultation on GOV.UK here.

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