Disabilities

Over £50 billion every year is being spent on benefits alone to support people with disabilities or health conditions. The Government will continue to spend more than Labour did in 2010 in every year to 2020. Benefits related to the additional costs of disability have been uprated every year, and households in receipt of these benefits are exempt from the benefit cap. 
 
The focus should be on putting opportunity at the heart of our society. In the last five years, 947,000 more disabled people have moved into work. However, there is more to do to meet the Conservative 2017 manifesto commitment to get one million more disabled people into work over the next decade. The Government is working closely with disabled people, their representatives, health care professionals and employers to achieve this.
 
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will in the coming months bring forward a Green Paper on health and disability support, to enable a conversation about building a welfare system for the future that is an ally of disabled people. The team will work closely with disabled people, disabled people's organisations and charities to take forward this new approach to disability, with their views and experiences at the forefront of any new policy
 
The DWP and the Department for Health and Social Care will consult on how employers can best support disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to stay and thrive in work. This will include measures to reform Statutory Sick Pay so that it is better enforced, more flexible and covers the lowest paid employees as well as improved quality, cost effectiveness and capacity in the private sector occupational health market.
 
The Government has launched a new cross-government approach on disability which is guided by a vision that recognises the contributions that disabled people make and where disabled people can participate fully in society. To drive forward this approach, government will establish a new cross-departmental team in the Cabinet Office, recognising that disabled people face barriers across a wide range of aspects of their lives and coordinated cross-government action is therefore vital. To inform this new approach, government is committed to strengthening the evidence base on disability and to improve engagement with disabled people and disabled people's organisations, in line with relevant recommendations from the United Nations.
 
The Government's Green Paper on work, health and disability explored new ways of supporting disabled people and people with health conditions into work, and looking at how coordination between the health and welfare systems can be improved. This involves engaging closely with disabled people and charities to better understand the needs of disabled people and how to provide the best possible support for them to find and remain in work.
 
It is also important to put welfare spending on a sustainable footing. This is why recent reforms mean new claimants to Employment and Support Allowance will in future receive the same rate as those claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. While making these changes, the most vulnerable have continued to be protected. No current claimants will see their payments fall, and those in the Support Group will not be affected. This reform has allowed a further £100 million of annual funding by 2020/21 for practical support to help claimants towards work, as well as spending a further £15 million through the Flexible Support Fund on meeting the extra costs that can be involved in finding a job.