Pilot areas to gain benefit assistance

Areas piloting local area agreements may be given more support from
government to help take people off incapacity benefit, a Department
for Work and Pensions official has revealed.

Martin Betts, manager of the DWP local government strategy team,
said the department had set up a working group with representatives
from the areas piloting the agreements to discuss extra tools they
could use to help people into work.

He said the DWP had ruled out giving councils and their partners
information about individuals receiving the benefit but it could
give them information on the concentration of incapacity benefit in
particular districts.

Local area agreements, which are being piloted by 20 areas this
year, give localities more freedom over how they spend
non-mainstream government spending to meet targets agreed with

A DWP minister will respond to the group’s proposals in September.

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