Arthritis Care calls for better support in our green paper response

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Arthritis Care is urging the government to improve the benefits system and do more for people with arthritis in our response to the green paper, a consultation document that asks for feedback on government proposals to support more disabled people into employment.

The Work, health and disability green paper: improving lives recognises the huge impact of musculoskeletal conditions in the UK, and it is encouraging that the government wants to improve employment support for people with disabilities and long-term conditions. Most working age people with arthritis want to work, and the majority can work with the right support.

However, we want the government to recognise that not everyone can work, and work is not a good outcome for everybody. It is counterproductive to force people to engage with employment support if they are not well enough.

We are asking the government to:

  • Scrap plans to force people in the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) support group to take part in conversations about work
  • Stop damaging cuts to the rate paid to new ESA claimants placed in the work-related activity group from April 2017
  • Review and reform the Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which is letting down disabled people with fluctuating conditions
  • Improve the employment support available to people with arthritis, including access to financial help, advice on rights and entitlements, and personalised support which takes account of an individual’s condition
  • Improve access to health services for people with arthritis, including physiotherapy
  • Prevent CCGs in England from restricting access to joint replacements based on arbitrary criteria such as weight

Read Arthritis Care's response to the Work health and disability green paper.

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