The government’s New Deal for Disabled People initiative has won private sector support from 15 of the UK’s insurance and reinsurance providers.
The intiative, to which the government has pledged £195m, is piloting six regional schemes, putting disabled people in touch with sources of practical support and advice.
The scheme will gradually be extended throughout the country, and the government was keen to enlist private sector support to help spread information about support facilities as widely as possible.
It is estimated one million people receiving state incapacity benefit are willing and able to go back to work.
The insurers, which include Royal & Sun Alliance, Unum, Norwich Union and Permanent, are to provide advice both to the disabled and their prospective employers about the financial assistance for which they might be eligible.
Alan Tyler, UK health market manager at Swiss Re Life and Health, explained: “Providers recognise that disabled people on benefit require specialist help to allow them to maintain financial security while regaining the confidence to re-enter the job market.”
The advice is expected to cover technology, training and work preparation.
The scheme will also see providers offering recommendations to those employers required to adapt their workplaces to meet the needs of disabled employees.