Spring Budget 2023: support for the long-term sick and disabled

15 March 2023

The Spring Budget 2023 announced a number of measures for the long-term sick and disabled, to help people into employment addressing inactivity in the labour market and grow the economy in the process.

It has been reported that there are more than 2.5 million people that are inactive due to long-term sickness. This is an increase of 26% since 2018. a White Paper has been published today on disability benefits reform and said ‘‘it is the biggest change to our welfare system in a decade’’. The Work Capability Assessment will be abolished and eligibility for the health top-up in Universal Credit (UC) will be passported via the Personal Independence Payment benefit. As a result, disabled benefit claimants will be able to seek work without fear of losing financial support.

The announcements are:

  • a new voluntary employment scheme for disabled people - the government will spend up to £4,000 per person to help them find appropriate jobs and put in place the support needed. It will aim to fund 50,000 places every single year

  • pilot a new programme called WorkWell – this will integrate employment and health support for those with health conditions, supporting individuals into employment and to remain in work

  • increasing the funding available in Great Britain for work coaches to help those who are long-term sick and disabled into work

  • a new Universal Support programme – this will match individuals in England and Wales who want to work with existing job vacancies and ensure they are supported to enter and stay in work by funding the necessary training and workplace support

  • ensure digital resources such as apps for management of mental health and musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are readily available

  • tailored employment support within mental health and MSK services in England, including expanding the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) scheme, and scaling up MSK hubs in the community. The government will also digitise the NHS Health Check to identify and prevent more cases of cardiovascular disease. These measures will support people with long-term health conditions.

The government’s policies announced at the Spring Budget will support improved population health outcomes and increase the employment rate and hours worked among those with a health condition or disability.

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