Multi-million pound fund to help tackle the disability employment gap launched

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.


A £4.2 million challenge fund to support people with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions to stay in work has been launched by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Sarah Newton, and the Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities, Jackie Doyle-Price.

The fund is the latest in a range of government measures that are part of a 10-year strategy which aims to see 1 million more disabled people in work by 2027.

The challenge fund, run by Rocket Science on behalf of the government, is aimed at testing new approaches to help people experiencing mental ill health or musculoskeletal issues to remain in employment.

They might be at risk of losing employment because of the effects of their condition, or may already be temporarily off work through ill health.

Department for Work and Pensions

Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work Sarah Newton, said:

We know there is a gap between disabled people who want to work and those who have the opportunity to do so.

With 78% of people acquiring their disability or health condition during their adult life, it’s crucial that we support disabled people who want to work to stay in or return to employment.

The joint initiative between the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health and Social Care will fund projects that help people to stay in work by:

  • increasing their ability to self-manage their conditions
  • helping people access advice and support about what sort of work they might be capable of doing

Minister for Mental Health and Inequalities Jackie Doyle-Price, said:

For too long if you had a disability or serious mental health issue the world of work was off limits, potentially affecting the lives of millions of people across the country.

This fund will help people overcome the barriers that so many still face when trying to get into and progress in the workplace.

Other areas to be tested will include new approaches to help employers and employees develop workplace solutions, and developing ways of working that facilitate greater participation of those with mental health or musculoskeletal conditions.

Applications are welcome from organisations in any sector, including employers, charities, social enterprises, local authorities, health bodies and others, with applications from smaller organisations particularly welcome.

More information

Visit the Challenge Fund website for information on how to apply.

The challenge fund is open for applications until 5pm on 17 August 2018.

220,000 due to get more in disability benefit

A court ruling means many are owed back payments

A recent court ruling stated that restrictions to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) discriminated against people with mental health problems.

In March 2017, the Government changed the rules so that people with mental health issues who struggled to make journeys because of overwhelming distress were entitled to less support from PIP than other people with mobility difficulties.

PIP and Mental Health

However, the court has now ruled this discriminatory and unlawful, and the Government has accepted the judgement, which means the rule no longer applies.

Up to 220,000 people could expect to have their disability benefit increased in light of this news.

Martin Atkinson, chief executive of disability charity Scope, said: “It’s absolutely right that the Government has accepted the high court’s ruling over the ‘discriminatory’ changes made to PIP last year.

“This announcement is a victory for the many disabled people who have been unable to access support they are entitled to.

“The regulations introduced last March made cruel and unfair distinctions between those with physical impairments and mental health conditions.”

The Government has said it will write to everyone who has been affected and that it will backdate payments to when the award was made.

If you are currently going through a reconsideration or appeal, you may want to reference these changes to make sure that the person making the decision takes them into account.

Source: Turn2us

Find out if you are entitled to PIP.