Homeless people rely on benefits in order to be able to live. It is hoped that this will be temporary for many people, as they recover from the trauma of becoming homeless and deal with the problems which have led to their homelessness.
However, as people recover the benefits system can inhibit their progress through unwarranted bureaucracy and poorly applied criteria, which means it often acts as a barrier to moving into employment.
We would like to see an effective benefits system which does not cause people unwarranted anxiety during their recovery and supports people when they are ready to return to work. In particular we would like to see:
- The 'earning disregard' (the money people can earn before their benefits are reduced) raised to £50 a week from upto £20 in order to allow people to try working part-time as a route back to full employment.
- People who have been long term unemployed have their benefits frozen for 6 months after they have returned to work. This would mean that if they have to return to benefits during this period they would not face any delay in accessing support.
- Improved work capability assessments which properly take account of all people's health and mental health needs, as well as a holistic view of their ability to work including a skills audit.
For more information on our views see our submission to the Department of Work and Pensions Working Capability Assessments review here
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