Headlines: January 25th, 2011

Newcomers to incapacity benefit face a long journey back to work. The Pathways to Work initiative is aimed at improving job opportunities for people on incapacity benefits. But the process is long and protracted and figures from the DWP show that only 14 percent actually find work within one year.

The figures indicate that over two-thirds of those finding employment do so before 220 days, and that there is a long tail to the distribution with some claimants still starting employment over 2 years after their Pathways start.

Pathways to Work is primarily aimed at new incapacity benefits claimants, but is also available to existing recipients on a voluntary basis. Following an initial work focussed interview with Jobcentre Plus, recipients are referred on to the local provider, on a mandatory basis, to attend a further five interviews at four week intervals.

The length of the journey to work is closely related to the cause of disability. By far the most common cause relates to diseases of the musculoskeletal system and claimants with these conditions find work in about 230 days after joining the Pathway.