People on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals or face losing benefits - in a two-year pilot scheme in central England, beginning in November.
Around 3,000 people in the work-related activity group for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) living in the Black Country, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire and Shropshire will take part in the scheme.
People involved in the pilot - who have all been assessed as being able to work at some point in the future - will have regular appointments with healthcare professionals as a condition of receiving their benefit.
The pilot will compare the help given by healthcare professionals to two other pilot schemes offering employment-focussed support to see which is most effective at helping people off sickness benefits and into work.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: "It's really important we give people who are disabled or have a health condition the support they need to get into work if they are able.
TTraditionally, this help has tended to be work-related, but this pilot will look at whether a more holistic approach is more successful in helping people to manage their conditions and so break down their barriers to work."
The meetings with healthcare professionals - which will be provided by Ingeus UK - will not replace someone's GP.
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