The Governments Pathways to Work Scheme for Disabled People is now closed.
Pathways to Work helped people to get work if they were receiving Employment and Support Allowance or an incapacity benefit because of a health condition or disability. The help was tailored specifically for each person taking part in the programme.
About Pathways to Work
Pathways to Work is a programme run by Jobcentre Plus to help people who are claiming Employment and Support Allowance or incapacity benefits to get work.
You will be expected to take steps to find work or prepare for work unless you have a health condition or disability that severely affects your ability to do so.
As well as help from Jobcentre Plus, you may get extra support from one of its partner organisations from the private and voluntary sectors. Those organisations are called 'providers'.
You may be entitled to extra money when you start or stay in work.
Who is eligible
When you make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance or incapacity benefits, you will automatically be considered for Pathways to Work. Only people aged between 18 and the age when you are eligible to receive Pension Credit will automatically be considered. This applies if you are claiming for the first time, or are claiming again after a break in receiving benefit.
Incapacity benefits include:
- Incapacity Benefit
- Income Support on the grounds of incapacity
- Income Support while you are appealing against a decision that you are not incapable of work
- Severe Disablement Allowance
Even if you are not automatically considered, you can still apply for help from Pathways to Work if you are entitled to certain benefits because of your health condition or a disability.
You can calculate your State Pension age by using the State Pension Age Calculator. The results also give the date when you may be able to get Pension Credit.
How it works
The service offers individual support and access to a wide range of help.
You will usually be invited to a series of up to six Work Focused Interviews.
Your needs will be assessed and the approach taken will be based on this assessment. This helps you receive a more personalised service. If you receive Employment Support Allowance the second Work Focused Interview will not normally be conducted until the outcome of your Work Capability Assessment is known.
Your interviews will be with a personal adviser who will:
- help you to remain focused on your ability to work
- help you develop a personal action plan to help you get the job you want
- discuss work opportunities with you
- explain the support that may be available to address key health and non-health related obstacles - for example, managing debt
- tell you about any financial benefits you may be entitled to once you start work
- work out how much better off financially you would be in work
Attending and taking part in the interviews is a condition for receiving the full amount of benefit.
The Condition Management Programme
The Condition Management Programme can help you better understand and manage your condition or disability. It uses the principles and approach of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. The programme does not replicate current NHS treatment.
Health professionals deliver the programme and tailor it to meet your needs.
In the Jobcentre Plus-led version of Pathways to Work, the Condition Management Programme is run for Jobcentre Plus by the NHS and the Department of Health.
Provider-led Pathways to Work has a similar Condition Management Programme. It is either delivered by the provider or by another specialist.
Please see below for further information about Jobcentre Plus-led and provider-led Pathways to Work.
Return to Work Credit
Return to Work Credit is a tax-free payment of £40 per week for people that have, or have had, a health condition or disability.
It can be payable for up to 52 weeks as long as:
- your job is expected to last at least five weeks
- you are working on average over 16 hours a week
- you are earning no more than £15,000, before tax, per year
- you are earning at least the National Minimum Wage
- you have been getting an incapacity benefit for 13 continuous weeks or more
- you have started work or will be starting work within the five-week period immediately after being entitled to a qualifying benefit
- you claim within five weeks of starting work
You might not qualify if you claim either of the following benefits in the five weeks before starting work:
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support as a lone parent
Please contact your adviser or Jobcentre Plus for more details.
Jobcentre Plus-led and provider-led Pathways to Work
Pathways to Work is delivered by Jobcentre Plus in 18 districts. In the remaining Jobcentre Plus districts, Pathways to Work is delivered by organisations from the private and voluntary sectors. The organisations that carry out the programme are called 'providers'.
Jobcentre Plus-led Pathways to Work
Jobcentre Plus advisers conduct all the mandatory interviews.
Your adviser can use a package of employment, training and rehabilitation programmes to provide tailor-made support for you. This package, known as 'Choices', includes the Condition Management Programme and Return to Work Credit, along with access to other Jobcentre Plus programmes.
Provider-led Pathways to Work
A Jobcentre Plus adviser carries out the first interview. Local providers conduct the remaining five mandatory work focused interviews, and offer support to get you back into work.
Any support you are offered will be tailor-made for you and includes a Condition Management Programme and access to Return to Work Credit