After several tightening of the work clearance allowance scheme, Minister Hadia Tajik announces changes from next summer. But which ones are still unclear.
The Solberg government made several changes to the work clearance allowance scheme (AAP). This led to a lot of political noise and harsh criticism from e.g. Ap.
How many of these Labor and Social Democrats aim to reverse, the newly-appointed Minister of Labor and Social Affairs will not say much about.
– There were many changes in the AAP scheme under the right-wing government. I’m now taking a closer look at what changes we’re going to make. And I will send proposals for changes to the consultation in the new year. The goal is to put in place changes that can take effect from July 1 next year, says Tajik.
She points out that up to that date, the government has extended the benefit period for AAP recipients under clarification. This applies to recipients who have reached the maximum benefit period from New Year to the end of June next year.
Work clearance allowance is a benefit that is to ensure that you get something to live on while it is clarified whether you are able to work. AAP can be given when e.g. has used up the period of sickness benefit, but is still unable to return to work.
The Solberg government’s austerity measures
The following change was made by the previous government:
- Fewer years: The maximum ordinary benefit period was reduced from 4 to 3 years.
- Fewer exceptions: The possibility of exemption from the maximum ordinary benefit period was changed to 2 years. The conditions for obtaining exemptions were also tightened:
- Waiting period: A so-called qualifying wound was introduced. Those who have received the AAP for the maximum period must wait 52 weeks before they can receive a new period of benefit. However, this does not apply if the applicant for AAP has a serious illness or injury.
- Reduced minimum rate: The minimum rate for young AAP recipients was reduced by almost NOK 70,000 a year.
Silence about the number of years and waiting years
I The Hurdal platform it is said no more than that the new government will ensure that «persons who receive work clearance allowance receive an extension if they have not been fully clarified from Nav or the health service.»
– Specifically, what does this mean? That you want to extend the period you can get with support?
– This means that the right-wing government made many changes to the work clearance scheme. We take a closer look at what we want to do with the scheme now. Even after the changes we will implement, I believe it will still be necessary to work with the AAP scheme in the future, not least to ensure that people receive close follow-up to actually clarify their ability to work. There are many who want to get a job, who experience that they do not get a real chance. I want to help them get a real chance.
– Do you go in practice to remove the qualifying wound?
– The qualifying year is one of many changes the right-wing government has implemented. Again what I can say at the moment is that we are going to make changes to the AAP scheme.
– But you do not want to say anything about removing the waiting year or increasing the number of years people can get AAP?
– People should have enough time to be clarified, that is the most important thing. We will return to the details of how this will happen, she says.
Will introduce activity reform
When Tajik was chair of the APS program committee before the party’s national meeting in 2017, the committee proposed reducing the number of years at the AAP from four to two years for young people.
There is no reason for young people to go on work assessment allowance (AAP) for four years, she told NRK at the time. In return, the Labor Party wanted to introduce a job guarantee for young people.
The Labor Party has abandoned the idea of reducing the number of years in the Labor Party for young people.
– What we are looking at now is how young people at AAP can get closer follow-up, she says.
The mentioned job guarantee is mentioned in the Hurdal platform, as part of an activity reform. If it is said the following:
The government will «introduce an activity reform for new recipients of work clearance allowance and disability benefits, so that those who can work are given a job guarantee that ensures a real opportunity to combine social security and work. Nav shall have an overall responsibility for securing jobs adapted to this group, at the same time as the municipalities have a duty to ensure that this group gets a job. The scheme will be phased in gradually and start with the young people. The municipalities’ additional costs will be covered.»
Introduced first for the disabled under 30 years of age
When asked if she can specify a little more what this activity reform is about, she answers as follows:
– The number of young disabled people has doubled over the last ten years. It shows that there is a need to do things differently than today. Young people with disabilities have complex problems. Almost seven out of ten of them have mental health problems that could be addressed at an earlier stage. The activity reform is about giving them a chance to try their hand at working life. It is important to me that we do not give up on these young people, but do what we can to follow them closely, both with what they need from health care and work training.
– Should this be voluntary to participate in?
– We will have to return to the final facility at a later date, she says.
She says they want to start with young people under the age of 30.
– Then you have to gain experience before you possibly roll it out to more groups, says Hadia Tajik who so far can not say anything about when this activity reform will be introduced.