The Future of Benefits

A national conference on cuts in disability benefits and the reality of living on welfare

15th October 2005

10.30am to 4:30pm

Sheffield Hallam University Union of Students

(former National Centre for Popular Music)

Paternoster Row,
. S1 2QQ

(Click on the Postcode for a map)

Donations will be accepted on the door

Food/Refreshments available
Disabled access and facilities

Near train station



Whats next?

Lorna Reith – Director of Disability Alliance

Ending the silence?

Sheila Messinder from
Advice Centre Support In Sheffield


Download the PDF poster for this event here

Download the MS Word Flyer for this event here




Details on the coming disability welfare reforms and the changes in assessment techniques.

Forging a National Network

To campaign against cuts and coercion in disability benefit and and to promote a positive model of disability welfare.

Workshops (TBA)

To include how to campaign, researching information, models of ill health/disabiltiy and media views of welfare



Personal stories from those on disability benefits and the difficulties they face


To highlight the coming disability welfare reforms and
raise the profile issue of disability welfare rights
and related issues (sadly neglected for many years)
and disability benefits issues generally and to
promote and widen its scope,

To set up a national campaigning network against the
proposed disability benefit welfare changes,
specifically disability benefit cuts and any coercive
measures that may be implemented.


Organised by Sheffield Welfare Action Network
To find out more or if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact our Secretary Chris on 07903 453006 or email us at

(website coming soon)



Labour to crack down on incapacity benefit


DAVID Blunkett yesterday drew the battle lines for an
autumn battle over welfare reform as he warned that
incapacity benefit (IB) can no longer be used as a
"crutch" for those who refuse to work.
The Work and Pensions Secretary said reducing the
number on IB - 2.8 million, including two in five
working-age adults in Glasgow - will be a defining
mission of Labour's third term.

Specialist plan to help GPs end sick note ethic,,1546783,00.html

Incapacity Benefit to be replaced in 2008

Incapacity benefit overhaul at heart of welfare reform,,1485865,0



Survival of the Fittest?

With a green paper due in October, the New Labour Government is planning to make major changes in welfare provision, particularly that of Incapacity Benefit (IB). These are changes which most disabled people are very worried about and which could plunge many into poverty and despair. Although those on IB are often dismissed as being ‘on the sick’, it is estimated that just 10% would actually be able to work. With the new proposals over 80% of IB claimants are likely to be forced to attend ‘work focused interviews’ or lose around 30% of their weekly benefits. Clearly, as this will be based on targets not need, the result will be that many thousands of the most vulnerable people in the UK, who find it hard just to get through the day, will be pressured into looking for work – ‘whether or not they feel they are ready’. It is likely that People with “invisible” impairments like M.E., or those who have mental health problems, are likely to be the hardest-hit.

These new proposals would also give a massive amount of discretion to Jobcentre Plus staff, to make judgments about whether or not an individual was too ill to work. Such decisions taken by using a computer system rather than suitable professional knowledge.

Although the changes outlined by the Government are supposed to apply just to new claimants, many present claimants are just ‘recycled’ through the system, so many will eventually be treated as new claimants. Other drastic changes in welfare are also proposed such as the introduction of flat rate housing benefit:. Such a change will clearly affect disabled people who need to be near their support systems, yet may have to move to cheaper accommodation.

All this will increase pressure on those most

in need of the welfare state

‘Even those who want to work may not actually be able to; disabled people are routinely discriminated against both when applying for jobs and at work, or the jobs may simply not be available.’