Disabled people up and down the country are being urged to make their voices heard to shape the future of the benefits system, by responding to the Health and Disability Green Paper consultation.
The 12-week online survey will close in one week and new Minister for Disabled People Chloe Smith has issued a final plea for people to have their say and help create a fairer benefits system for all.
Minister for Disabled People Chloe Smith said:
“For the Government to make changes that will have a lasting and tangible impact on people’s lives, we need your help.
Thank you to everyone who has had their say so far but I would urge anyone who hasn’t yet to play your part in creating a benefits system that better meets the needs of disabled people and those with health conditions, both now and in the future.”
The Health and Disability Green Paper consultation includes 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.
To make the Green Paper as accessible as practicably possible there are a variety of formats available. These include physical and braille copies, a BSL video with subtitles, a Welsh language version, a 20pt version, a full audio version available digitally and on CD, as well as an easy read version.
The consultation is running alongside a series of consultation events with disabled people and those with health conditions and their representatives. This includes virtual and face-to-face events covering England, Scotland and Wales.
Following the consultation, detailed proposals will be brought forward in a White Paper next year, setting out how people can be enabled to take up work and live more independently, and outline the changes the Government wants to make to the benefits system.
For more information and to respond to the Green Paper consultation please visit: https://getinvolved.dwp.gov.uk/05-policy-group/health-and-disability-green-paper/