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Health and Disability Green Paper published: Shaping Future Support

21 July 2021

The DWP has published its long promised Health and Disability Green Paper titled Shaping Future Support.

The DWP says that:

“This green paper considers the options for addressing some of the short- to medium-term issues in health and disability benefits. It will also start a discussion about the opportunities for wider change to deliver on the objectives of the health and disability benefit system.

We are consulting on the following aspects of our support for people with disabilities and health conditions:

  • Ways to provide more support to help meet the needs of Disabled people and people with health conditions and allow them to more easily access and use benefits and services.
  • Improve employment support for Disabled people and people with health conditions, and how to encourage people to take up that support, where possible.
  • Short-term improvements to our current services such as improvements to assessments and decision making, to improve the experience of Disabled people.
  • Changes to future assessments and alternative approaches.
  • Changes that could be made to the structure of the main benefits claimed by working-age Disabled people and people with health conditions.”

Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson said that the Green Paper:

“… represents an important step for improving the benefits system, increasing opportunities for employment and helping more people to lead independent lives.

It is part of a wider package of support for Disabled people that includes the National Disability Strategy which, for the first time, represents focus and collaboration across Government to set out a wide-ranging portfolio of practical changes we can take to help people in every aspect of daily life.

Our Health Is Everyone’s Business consultation response also looks at how employers can support people at work.”

The Our Health is Everyone’s Business consultation response and the National Disability Strategy and the are expected to be published within the next few days.

The DWP says:

“We know that working in partnership with the people who are directly affected by our decisions is crucial if we are to deliver better outcomes.

We want to involve more Disabled people and people with health conditions in shaping how we work. We will continue to listen in order to improve how we work in future, so that we can continue to make changes that will improve people’s lives.”

The consultation started by the launch of the Green Paper will last for 12 weeks.

Following the consultation, detailed proposals will then be brought forward in a White Paper in 2022, setting out how the DWP “can better enable people to take up work and live more independently”, and outline the changes it wants “to make to the benefits system to better address structural and delivery challenges”.

Ken Butler DR UK’s Welfare Rights and Policy Adviser said:

“This Green Paper is very significant document, extremely wide ranging in scope and needs careful study and informed discussion between Disabled People.

What links it may have with the The Our Health is Everyone’s Business consultation response and the National Disability Strategy should become clear in the next few days.

In the coming weeks, DR UK will be seeking to provide a briefing on the Green Paper and seeking discussion with Disabled people, DPOs and other organisations as to what proposals may be positive but importantly also common areas for concern.”

The Green Paper, along with accessible versions and a link to the consultation site, is available from gov.uk.