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Jobseeker’s Allowance

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a person with (a) a mental health condition and (b) a drug or alcohol addiction claiming jobseekers allowance has access to (i) the Pathways to Work scheme and (ii) condition management programmes through the Pathways to Work scheme. (203272)

Pathways to Work is specifically designed to encourage recipients of incapacity benefits to consider opportunities for starting or returning to work. Jobseeker’s allowance customers are, therefore, not eligible for Pathways to Work.

Instead, jobseeker’s allowance and other benefit customers with drug-related problems have access to the voluntary Progress2Work programme. Progress2Work provides, through specialist contractors, additional help for customers disadvantaged by their drug misuse. These specialists aim to support customers through provision, training and employment.

Under the flexible new deal, beginning in October 2009, service providers can decide to offer condition management programmes as part of the tailored back-to-work action plans drawn up for longer-term jobseeker’s allowance customers. Customers with a history of drug and alcohol misuse can currently also volunteer for early access to the New Deal Gateway and this arrangement will continue under the flexible new deal.