Employment and welfare

It is vital blind and partially sighted people have equal opportunities when it comes to employment, and this includes taking account of the extra costs of disability.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

In his July Budget, the Chancellor announced changes to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) for future claimants placed in the Work-Related Activity Group (WRAG). The WRAG is intended for those disabled people who may be able to work at some stage in the future, but are currently unable to do so.
This measure will push many people into poverty and debt, who have no realistic escape route via a job in the near future. 

Take action

The Bill containing this change is currently before Parliament, and the Government are trying to move it along very quickly. Please contact your MP and let them know the negative consequences this could have:

Access to Work

The Access to Work scheme (ATW) helps large numbers of blind and partially sighted people who are in employment. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reports that ATW helps 5,130 people who have difficulty seeing, which is the second largest user group who use the fund.

ATW can pay for a range of support, from specialist equipment to a support worker or taxi fares. However, the DWP is now saying that ATW will be rationed. These new proposals, for a cap on the amount payable, are causing concern. The key for blind and partially sighted people is a much larger budget, so that the scheme can be expanded without weakening the necessary support to individuals. We are working hard to achieve this.

If you have any stories of how Access to Work has helped you, please get in touch and share your story by emailing campaigns@rnib.org.uk or calling 020 7391 2123.

You can read our updated policy statement to find out more.

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Over 800 of you contacted your MP about the rumoured plan to tax Personal Independence Payments (PIP) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). We are pleased that the Chancellor decided not to pursue the option of taxing, or means testing, PIP and DLA and recognises that these benefits are there to help with the additional costs of disability.
If you want to know our views on the other topics covered in the budget, you can read our short briefing:

Employment campaigning news

It's vital that blind and partially sighted have access to employment. Find out what we're doing to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have equal access to employment and services such as Access to Work are protected.

Check out the latest Employment news

Protecting welfare support news

There's clear evidence that living with sight loss brings a range of additional costs. We campaign for a fairer benfits system and to ensure people with sight loss have access to disability benefits. 

Find out what we're doing to protect welfare support