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A Statement Responding To Proposed Changes To Disability Benefits System

Posted on 9 May 2024

Many of you will have heard the recent speech from the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, on his intent to “reform the disability benefits system”, proposing changes to welfare benefits, fit notes, and work capability.

We understand that this has caused a lot of worry for people in terms of what that means for their future entitlement to benefits and how to manage sickness and work.

We want to reassure all of our clients that these are currently only proposed changes and will need much consultation. They will take time to be passed as law and so won’t affect anyone immediately.

One change that we know is definitely happening is that those currently on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will need to move on to Universal Credit earlier than previously planned. This was planned for 2028, but this Managed Migration for those on ESA only will now begin in December 2025.

Southdown wants to ensure we support you as much as possible. We are very fortunate to have an incredible Financial Inclusion team who have supported hundreds of people to ensure they have the right advice and support with regards to their benefits entitlement. We also have Employment Support services available for individuals with mental health support needs to either support them back into work or help them gain work. These services work closely with the Financial Inclusion team to ensure that benefits support is aligned.

We know the recent announcements may be unsettling for you. If you have any questions or concerns about how you may be affected, please talk to your Support Worker first. The Financial Inclusion team work hard to ensure that all staff are kept updated on any benefit changes.

If the Financial Inclusion team can’t help you directly, your Support Worker will be able to offer you reassurance and information and give you details of any advice services available in your local area. You can also talk to your Work Coach about your health conditions and how the proposed changes may affect you.

Two of our values are to be a Force for Good and to be Brilliant with People. We will continue to offer a person-centred service to everyone we support by working closely with your needs and keeping up-to-date with local and national changes. Please continue to follow us for any updates following this announcement.