Ministers have drawn up major benefit changes for people unable to work due to health conditions, it has been reported.
The gradual change would save the social welfare budget around £4 billion.
If these changes reported by the BBC go ahead, many more people suffering from a range of physical and mental health conditions will be forced to find work despite any difficulties.
The proposals follow the announcement in March that the government is looking to scrap the controversial Work Capability Assessment.
The Work Capability Assessment is used to determine whether people can receive additional benefit payments because of a health condition.
Those who are eligible can receive £390 a month on top of their universal credit payment.
The change would mean that people waiting for help might not get additional help, but would be expected to look for work.
The BBC explained that the changes would affect new claimants first.
Those already claiming benefits will be brought into the new system by the end of the decade. However, they would be given transitional protection if their benefits were reduced.
Those currently receiving the extra money fall into one of two categories of people who are considered unfit for work:
- they have “limited capacity for work-related activity” if they receive universal credit
- or in the support group if they receive employment and support allowance
Under the new proposals, these categories would be abolished, the additional benefit would not be paid, and work coaches in Employment Centers would determine how much effort a person would have to make to find a job.
Those deemed not to be trying hard enough could be threatened with approval of their benefits. There would be some exceptions, for example for people undergoing treatment for cancer and those with a terminal illness.
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