Welfare to Work

DAILY MONITOR: Work capability, benefit cuts, 30,000 work experience places


DWP; unconditional support

The Guardian

The latest figures for new claims to ESA published today show that overall 54% of people assessed were found to be able to do some form of work while 46% are eligible for the benefit.

Of those assessed, 26% were put in the Support Group, where they get unconditional support as they are too ill or disabled to work. This is more than double the figure from December 2008 to May 2010, when between 10-11% of people were being placed in the Support Group.

A further 20% of people were put in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), meaning they are currently too ill or disabled to work and entitled to the benefit, but will be expected to take steps towards an eventual return to work. Read more here

Disability charities welcome increase in award of unconditional benefits

Disability charities have given a cautious welcome to a government announcement that more claimants are receiving maximum, unconditional disability benefit payments, the apparent result of ongoing improvements to the testing system.

The percentage of new claimants receiving unconditional Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) payments has doubled since May 2010, the quarterly statistical release from the Department for Work and Pensions showed.

The new minister for employment, Mark Hoban, attributed the increase to recent improvements to the work capability assessment (WCA), the test designed to determine who should receive benefits and who should be classified as fit for work. Full article.

 More than 40,000 children living abroad receive UK child benefit

The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph

Payments worth up to £36m a year, are being mandated under EU law.

Parents of more than 40,000 children living outside the UK are receiving child benefit, according to figures released by the Treasury just months before more than one million parents face having their benefits cut or axed.

David Gauke, the Treasury minister, published the figures for payments to 23,855 families, who live outside the UK but in the European Union. By far the biggest proportion of children for whom claims are being made – nearly two-thirds – are living in Poland. The remaining third of claimants are in the other 25 EU countries and three others: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. In all cases, families can claim £20.30 for the first child and £13.40 for each subsequent child.

 27,000 families in Newcastle will see cuts to their benefits

UP TO 27,000 families in Newcastle will be worse off as a result of Government proposals to reform the welfare system, the council claim.

And up to £83m will be removed from the local economy as a result of reductions and changes to benefits, according to a report to the City Council’s cabinet this Wednesday.

O2 creates 30,000 work placements

The Daily Telegraph

MOBILE phone group O2 is to help create thousands of work experience placements for young people in a £5m campaign to curb youth unemployment.

The company has joined forces with Bauer Media to create up to 30,000 opportunities over three years, ranging from one-day work-shadowing schemes to one-year internships.

Of the 9,000 or so placements expected to be created between both companies over the next year, 6,000 will be one, two or three-day “fast-track” placements teaching young people unique skills, such as how to code using html, the mark-up language for displaying web pages, or how to manage editorial publishing systems.

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