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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Fit for Purpose. The reform of incapacity benefit

This report calls for a new benefits framework to create solid foundations for the long term. It sets out practical policies to support people with health problems or disability get back to work and deliver a decent standard of living for those who can't work.

The current system of Incapacity Benefit insists on all-or-nothing divisions into work or inactivity, health or ill-health, lack of disability or disability. Such crude reductionism fails to reflect the reality of health problems, disability or work as they are experienced by claimants.

Incapacity Benefit is failing its claimants on two fronts: It has become a barrier to work as many claimants fear that taking steps towards employment will place their benefits at risk. It also fails to provide a decent income for people who are unable to work because of long-term health problems or disability.

Kate Stanley and Dominic Maxwell call for a new benefits framework to create solid foundations for the long term. They set out practical policies to support people with health problems or disability get back to work and deliver a decent standard of living for those who can't work.