The Centre for Social Justice have published survey analysis revealing that more than 700,000 sickness benefits claimants would like to work with the right support.
However, of this group, 53% are reticent about exploring work due to concerns that they wouldn’t get their benefits back if it didn’t work out.
73% do not believe anyone would employ them due to their health condition and 72% feel their health condition fluctuates too much.
Measures in the Health and Disability White Paper to reform assessments and offer tailored support to achieve work ambitions are welcomed but the think tank say the anticipated rollout of 2029 is too far away – urgent changes are needed now.
Not only would this address the rise in economic inactivity due to long-term sickness, it would also tackle labour shortages and provide £7bn of savings in benefit payments and taxes, helping to boost the UK’s growth.
The think tank supports the roll out of Universal Support to address complex barriers and help people get into work. It calls on Treasury to accelerate UC managed migration so that ESA claimants can receive additional support into work.
The think tank suggest the Government should create an ‘Into Work Guarantee’, providing commitment that claimants trying to work will be supported and able to return to their health-related benefits without assessment should their condition worsen.
Key point raised: targeted support is needed now to help sickness benefit claimants into work – an ‘Into
Work Guarantee’ would give claimants confidence to proceed.