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04/11/2013

People On Sickness Benefits To Take Part In Pilot Scheme

People on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them address their barriers to work – or face losing their benefits – in a two-year pilot scheme in central England which begins in November.

Around 3,000 people in the work-related activity group for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) living in the Black Country, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire and Shropshire will take part in the scheme.

People involved in the pilot – who have all been assessed as being able to work at some point in the future – will have regular appointments with healthcare professionals as a condition of receiving their benefit, to focus on helping them move closer to being able to get a job.

The pilot will compare the help given by healthcare professionals to two other pilot schemes offering employment-focussed support to see which is most effective at helping people off sickness benefits and into work.

One in southern England (Devon, Cornwall and Somerset, Surrey and Sussex, Thames Valley, Greater Wessex and Gloucestershire and West of England) will give enhanced support from Jobcentre Plus. The other in North East England (Durham and Tees Valley, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and North East Yorkshire and the Humber) will see Work Programme providers increasing the help they give to people on sickness benefits.

(CD/IT)

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