UK Minister Laura Trott, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, yesterday said that disabled people must work from home to do ‘their duty’.

Proposed changes to benefits for many disabled people could mean several thousands of people will be told to look for work that they can do from home or face having their benefits cut by £4,680 a year. These reforms are based on a perceived view that following the COVID-19 pandemic there are more opportunities for hybrid, flexible and home working.  The minster further says of the plan is  ‘It’s saying we’re going to put the right mechanisms around you to help you with that. But ultimately, you have to engage with that, and that is an obligation on you as a citizen to do this. And if you don’t do this, we will look at sanctions.’

These proposals could end up with people having to look for work when they aren't well enough or ready.  If they don't meet strict conditions, they'll have their benefits stopped amidst a cost-of-living crisis. Aspire fully supports that work can offer lots of benefits mentally, physically and financially to those who have sustained a spinal cord injury. However the reforms require intensive expert input to ensure appropriate and quality employment support is provided to both jobseekers and employers.  Importantly there also has to be system safety net in place to recognise and support those who cannot work.  Many charities, including Aspire, have responded to the consultation and we are now awaiting the details of reforms.

Aspire’s Welfare Benefits Advice team can advise those who have a spinal cord injury.  The team can be contacted by calling on 0208 420 6711 or emailing [email protected]

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