Pilots cut numbers claiming benefit

The Pathways to Work scheme is helping people to come off incapacity benefit, new research claims.

A Department for Work and Pensions study has found that 8 per cent more people came off the benefit in areas piloting the scheme, compared with those where it does not operate, over a six-month period.

Pathways to Work helps people on incapacity benefit to find employment through work-focused interviews and sessions with specially trained personal advisers.

The pilots, which will be extended to cover 900,000 people within two years, are a key part of the government’s reforms to incapacity benefit, which are expected to be contained in a green paper due later this month.

Although researchers said they could not be certain that all the extra people who came off incapacity benefit in pilot areas went straight into employment, there was no evidence to suggest they were going onto other benefits.

The pilots started in three areas in 2003 and were rolled out in four more in 2004.

Incapacity Benefit reforms -Pathways to Work Pilots performance and analysis from www.dwp.gov.uk

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