Pathways to Work is a programme which helps people to get work if they are receiving Employment and Support Allowance or an incapacity benefit because of a health condition or disability. This can include people with mental health needs. The help is tailored specifically for each person taking part in the programme. It is delivered by Jobcentre Plus and a range of other organisations.
Jobcentre Plus is the government’s agency which supports people of working age to get work, and helps employers to fill their vacancies. If you are aged between 18 and 60 and make a claim for Employment and Support Allowance or incapacity benefits, you will automatically be considered for Pathways to Work. This applies if you are claiming for the first time, or are claiming again after a break in receiving benefit. Even if you are not automatically considered, you can still apply for help from the Pathways to Work programme if you are entitled to certain benefits because of your health condition or a disability.
In the first seven months of your claim, you will usually be invited to six work-focused interviews. Your interviews will be with a personal adviser whose role is to:
- 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 those things that may be causing a problem for you, such as 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 aims to help people to manage their health condition or disability so that they can get back to work. It uses the principles and approach of cognitive behavioural therapy. Health professionals deliver the programme and will tailor it to meet your needs. If you are being supported by the Pathways to Work programme through your Jobcentre Plus, the Condition Management Programme is run for Jobcentre Plus by the NHS and the Department of Health. If you are being supported by a different organisation, the Condition Management Programme may be delivered by that organisation or by another specialist. You can find further information about Jobcentre Plus and provider-led schemes.