Schemes to get addicts into work

SyringeTwo pilot schemes are being aimed at tackling the "staggering" number of benefit claimants whose illness is mainly down to drug or alcohol addiction.

A scheme in West Yorkshire will see providers of the Work Programme paid an extra £2,500 for finding a job lasting at least six months for people with drug and drink problems.

Another programme in the West Midlands will test whether people would be helped into work if there was a closer relationship between providers and those involved in treatment.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: "There are around 100,000 people claiming sickness benefits whose illness is primarily down to their drug or alcohol addiction.

"Of these, a staggering 23,000 have been claiming incapacity benefits for a decade or more and whilst addicts may face real barriers to work, if we are to break the cycle it is vital that we help individuals break their addiction and secure a job.

"I am pleased to announce two Work Programme pilot programmes, which will be specifically targeted at supporting drug and alcohol-addicted claimants into work."