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Citizens Advice responds to government plans to close the disability employment gap

Citizens Advice has today responded to the government’s Improving Lives: the Future of Work, Health and Disability paper, which lays out plans to narrow the disability employment gap.

The charity, which published its response to the Work, Health and Disability Green Paper earlier this year, welcomed plans for more integrated services for people who are disabled or have a long term health condition and want to work as good news but stressed that improvements are still needed to Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

In the last year Citizens Advice helped people with over 300,000 problems relating to ESA.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

“The Government is right that we need a joined-up approach if we’re going to help disabled people into work, and today’s strategy on the future of health, employment and disability is a welcome step towards more integrated services.

“We are also pleased to see recognition of the important role occupational health plays in helping disabled people into work, along with further progress towards providing tailored employment support, including in mental health services.

“However, it is clear that the assessment process for ESA is not working – something the government rightly acknowledges. We remain concerned that many of the people who come to us for advice are facing immediate problems with inaccuracies and stressful experiences that can set them back even further. We will continue to share our evidence on these issues with the Government to help inform future decisions.

“Ultimately, design and delivery can be as important as policy, so it’s crucial the government gets this right.”

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