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Debating conditionality for disability benefits recipients and welfare reform: Research evidence from Pathways to Work

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  • Katharine Weston

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    Abstract

    The Coalition Government’s reform of welfare has revived debate about the imposition of conditions on receipt of disability benefits. In particular a debate published in the journal Policy and Politics in 2011 discussed the extension of increased conditionality to this group and the associated policy levers, often referred to as ‘carrots’ (incentives) and ‘sticks’ (sanctions). This article adds to the debate by presenting findings from research with service users of Pathways to Work (until recently the main employment programme for people on disability benefits). These findings help to argue for greater recognition of the heterogeneity and diverse levels of need among disability benefits claimants, demonstrate advantages and disadvantages of conditional benefit receipt, and highlight the limited effectiveness of incentives and sanctions. Furthermore findings suggest a need to reconsider the emphasis in government policy on conditionality, where this obscures messages about the availability of personalised support.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by London South Bank University in its journal Local Economy: The Journal of the Local Economy Policy Unit.

    Volume (Year): 27 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 5-6 (August)
    Pages: 514-528

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    Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:27:y:2012:i:5-6:p:514-528

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    Web page: http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/index.shtml

    Related research

    Keywords: activation policy; disability benefits; labour market; Pathways to Work; social policy; social security; welfare benefits; welfare to work;

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