In what way could the benefit system be made more autism friendly?


The Department for Work and Pension (DWP) has sent the following message (see below) about the consultation on their new policy proposal (green paper attached).

Let us discuss the impact of proposed changes, like abolishing PIP, on autistic people. In what way the benefit system could be made more autism friendly. Be specific with examples.

You can fill the online consultation survey here:

You can also register for the zoom event as described below.

The green paper has a number of proposals including rolling the PIP into Universal Credit (paragraph 300-303 on page 63) and encourage more disabled people into work (paragraph 311) . What would be the impact on autistic people? What are the barriers? Be specific.

There are interesting questions on employment support, for example,

Consultation question:
• What more could we do to further support employers to improve work opportunities for disabled (autistic) people through Access to Work and Disability Confident?

Our question
  • How can support be personalised, how can Tool Up be used/improved and personalised to help people on ESA to get into work without feeling rushed and forced?
Please leave a comment,

DWP email:

Good afternoon,

The Department for Work and Pensions are holding a Health & Disability consultation event in Bournemouth on Thursday 23rd September.

We are asking for staff at your organisation and your service users who are disabled or have a health condition would be interested in attending an event with us (details below) to tell us their views about the Health and Disability Green Paper which was published last month.

We are really keen to hear from as many people as possible and we would be really grateful if your organisation could encourage your service users to attend or send a representative?

Tickets can be reserved by going on to and searching for “DWP Bournemouth”.

Once you have booked a ticket, you can let us know more about any accessibility needs you may have when attending our event by e-mailing us at: Alternatively, you can e-mail us your name and telephone number, and a member of our team will be happy to contact you to discuss.

Anyone attending in a personal capacity is eligible for £30 in retail vouchers to compensate them for their time, and travel and parking costs are also reimbursed.

Any support you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Event details:
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently published Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper. The Green Paper asks for views on how the Government can help people to live more independently, to stay and succeed in work, and ways we can improve the experience people have of the benefits system.

The Green Paper, along with accessible versions and a link to the consultation site, is now available on

You can also see it attached.

The content of the Green Paper was shaped by conversations we have had with disabled people, people with health conditions, and their representatives, in a series of events running up to publication.

We are now asking for your help to promote events where we can hear people’s views on proposals in the Green Paper.

We understand that this is an uncertain time for many disabled people and people with health conditions. Some may wish to continue to avoid public spaces and transport, while some may now feel ready to attend events in person. For this reason, we are offering a choice of ways in which people can attend consultation events. If there is sufficient demand we intend to run a series of face-to-face events across the country, but we will also be offering virtual events for people who would prefer them.

We ask that you please promote these events to your service users and direct them to record their interest in either a face-to-face event or a virtual event by using the Eventbrite links below. We would also welcome attendees from your organisation and others who represent disabled people and people with health conditions.

Virtual event (MS Teams):

Subject: Improving the design of the benefits system

We are grateful for your support and look forward to seeing you and your service users at one of our events.

Kind regards,

DWP Health & Disability Consultation Events Team.


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Paragraph 311:

311. Where people may be able to work, we want to provide encouragement to do so. We want to explore whether there are better ways to target financial support at people with the highest needs so that people do not feel discouraged from trying out work.


Consultation questions (green paper) page 64:
• UC has many features, such as the work allowance and taper, that aim to make it easier for people to move into work. How can we ensure that disabled people and people with health conditions are aware of these features, and encourage people to try out work on UC?
• How could the current structure of benefits be changed to overcome people’s financial concerns about moving towards employment?
• How could the current structure of benefits be improved so people can better manage changes in benefit entitlement?


New member
A very interesting and potentially triggering topic for many autistic individuals.
Firstly, PIP needs to be more accessible; many autistic people struggle to make phone calls (for a number of different reasons ranging from sensory processing disorder, their communication abilities and styles etc.), and currently you can only obtain a claim form either by calling the helpline (which you can end up on hold for a long time and having to call multiple times before getting through, which increases anxiety) or writing to DWP. There is no option to email DWP to start a PIP claim and obtain a PIP claim form, or in order to ask any queries you may have about your claim. There is also no option to download a claim form online. This alone is discriminative towards those with disabilities, and very inaccessible, considering it is a benefit offered to those with access needs. This is especially true for those with hidden disabilities, and it also assumes that everyone with a disability has someone supporting them with things like claiming PIP.

Secondly, I disagree with PIP being combined with Universal Credit. It sounds like another money making/saving scheme for the government which is likely to have minimal benefit for individuals with disabilities. For example, autistic adults often want to work, but many employers have such minimal knowledge, understanding and awareness of Neurodiversity and conditions like ADHD and Autism, that they may be unemployed or unable to work full time due to stigma and discrimination they experience in society, and/or due to inappropriate or insufficient individualised support from their employer in order to minimalise the discrepancies they experience in comparison to a colleague without a disability.


New member
The government needs to appreciate there are many people who want to work, and have plenty of skills to offer, but who simply cannot work 5 days a week, 9 to 5, or similar, especially if commuting is involved. It's simply too exhausting for someone with poor executive function.
I've been fortunate to work part-time from home since 2008, with occasional extra seasonal work such as exam invigilation, but before then (I entered the workforce in 1988) I would burn out after less than 2 years and have to go on the dole until I recovered. I should point out my wages are minimal, as I'm not entitled to any extra benefits despite my disabilities, so I've had to live incredibly frugally. The only thing that's kept me alive is financial luck and a small amount of privilege.
So, the point I want to make, is that those of us who can work part-time should be supported in doing so whilst enjoying a secure, decent standard of living.
It's also very sad that I've had to leave so many jobs due to bullying from colleagues simply because I'm 'a bit different'. Institutional bigotry is still a huge problem in this country - and the antics of the current government don't help. I have very little faith that anyone in the current government gives a damn about my welfare, or enabling me to use my talents constructively. They just want to get autistic people into the workforce so we're being productive rather than dependent.


New member
In order for the government plans to move forward, employers need to have policies and procedures in place to protect autistic workers. They also need to have some awareness of autism and offer reasonable adjustments. This could be flexible working hours, a quite space, sensory friendly environments and a “go to” member of staff that can be sought out for any number of reasons but mostly for support.
I believe a working policy should include this sort of work force training in order for the changes to PIP or UC to benefit autistic in the workplace. Sadly a lot of working environments are not inclusive enough to reasonably adjust to the individual working style of each employee and this can becomes a problem for autistics.