GPs will be rewarded for helping people come off benefits and into work under welfare reforms announced by work and pensions secretary John Hutton in a green paper today.
The government also announced that incapacity benefit is to be replaced with a new employment support allowance from 2008.
People with more manageable conditions wil only be able to claim the highest rate of the new benefit – which will be higher than current long term incapacity benefit of £74 a week – if they take part in activities including interviews and rehabilitation plans aimed at returning them to work.
If they do not comply the new benefit will be reduced in a series of cuts stopping at the level of job seeker’s allowance, (about £55 a week).
People with the most serious conditions will not be required to meet any of the terms in order to qualify for the new benefit, which will be paid at a higher rate than at present.