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ESA work component likely to stay for current incapacity benefit claimants

Following yesterday’s budget, the Welfare Reform and Work Bill has now been published. It contains a strong indication that claimants waiting to be transferred from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance (ESA) will still have the chance to be paid the work-related activity component (WRAC), even it has been abolished for new claims.

Few details
The Welfare Reform and Work Bill it is primarily enabling legislation which contains very little in the way of detail about the changes that are to be made to the benefits system.

However, in relation to abolishing the WRAC the bill makes provision for “transitional or transitory
provision or savings as the Secretary of State considers necessary or expedient”.

The bill goes on to say that regulations:

“may in particular make provision about including a work-related activity component in an award of employment and support allowance that is converted under paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 to the

Welfare Reform Act 2007 from an award of incapacity benefit, severe 20 disablement allowance or income support after the coming into force of subsections (1) to (3).”

In other words, the DWP are intending to allow claimants who are currently on incapacity benefit to receive the WRAC, even if they are put in the work-related activity group after the additional component has been abolished for new claims.

Unanswered questions
This is clearly good news for the many thousands of claimants still on incapacity benefit and is intended to ensure that there is as little protest as possible about the changes. Most of those affected do not even know yet that they are going to make a claim for ESA in the future.

However, there are still many questions left unanswered.

Most importantly, the Bill gives no indication of when changes to ESA will take place – it is entirely up to Iain Duncan Smith to decide.

In addition, there is no indication of whether the changes will apply to people who have made a claim for ESA but are still awaiting a decision on the date when the new regulations come into force.

We’ll keep members posted when more information becomes available.

You can download a copy of the Welfare reform and Work Bill from this link.

Comments  

+2 #10 carruthers 2015-07-13 15:43
Quoting Bill24chev:
I believe that removing CB ESA could be challenged because there is an implied contract between Worker and Government that paying contributions = entitlement to benefit.if you fall ill.
Unfortunately the government can change any contract - implied or otherwise - by changing the law. They can even do something this government is fond of. They pass a law saying that the Secretary of State can do whatever he wants - then IDS can disregard any law he doesn't like.

We saw that with the Poundland affair. The courts found that the DWP had broken the law. So the government changed the law, so that not only could they do what they wanted in future, but they changed the past as well, so that what they did was not illegal even then.
+1 #9 JR73 2015-07-12 10:59
Quote:
to JR73,
thanks for that, sounds like I have some 'fun' to look forward to! what annoys me is that it was the DSS way back then that were more than happy to sweep people like us under the carpet, now it seems we have to somehow justify to them our disability and be called scroungers in the bargain, I would be interested to know what group your friends were put in SG or WRAG?..according to the DWP's own WCA handbook and the excellent guides on B/W if you cannot see 16 point print and you dont read braille you qualify for SG, doesnt guarentee you get it but SG criteria is met,
Back in the 80's that was the case. Get people on sickness benefits to ease the unemployment figures. Now, it gone the other way completely. All in the name of money saving which it won't do. This is ideologically driven by a rabid monetarist government favoured by the banking families. Get all the help you can with filling the form in. I am and a lot of my V.I. friends have said "I hope you're not filling in that form on your own"!
+2 #8 stuart52 2015-07-11 19:05
to JR73,
thanks for that, sounds like I have some 'fun' to look forward to! what annoys me is that it was the DSS way back then that were more than happy to sweep people like us under the carpet, now it seems we have to somehow justify to them our disability and be called scroungers in the bargain, I would be interested to know what group your friends were put in SG or WRAG?..accordin g to the DWP's own WCA handbook and the excellent guides on B/W if you cannot see 16 point print and you dont read braille you qualify for SG, doesnt guarentee you get it but SG criteria is met,
+2 #7 JR73 2015-07-11 10:52
Quote:
at this time I am still on IS and like so many more I am dreading the brown envelope that I am sure one day will arrive, the post here seems optimistic but you never can really tell with this government, back in 1986 when I was registered as severe sight impaired/blind I was put on benefits with no choice, it was the DSS of the day that did this,i dread the thought of being 'somehow' found fit for work and having to go through a regime that I cannot do, there are many others like me on here and elsewhere, we can only hope that DWP/JCP do the right thing by us, the various posts on here suggest otherwise however, I am now 56 and through no fault of mine haven't worked since Jan 1982 so I honestly don't know whats going to happen!
Looks like we were in the same position. All my other V.I. friends have been called a few years before me. I was beginning to wonder when DWP would catch up to me. They did by 22 June. I've got to wait a while before Action for Blind people can get to me. My form's gotta be back by 4 Aug. I can't see anyone until 27th July. Cutting it fine but the don't seem worried as they said they know what to say if the form is returned late. Just stick to this sight and get all the info you can and go through it bit by bit. That's what I will do now that I've done the "running around like a headless chicken".
+3 #6 stuart52 2015-07-10 14:11
at this time I am still on IS and like so many more I am dreading the brown envelope that I am sure one day will arrive, the post here seems optimistic but you never can really tell with this government, back in 1986 when I was registered as severe sight impaired/blind I was put on benefits with no choice, it was the DSS of the day that did this,i dread the thought of being 'somehow' found fit for work and having to go through a regime that I cannot do, there are many others like me on here and elsewhere, we can only hope that DWP/JCP do the right thing by us, the various posts on here suggest otherwise however, I am now 56 and through no fault of mine haven't worked since Jan 1982 so I honestly don't know whats going to happen!
+1 #5 JR73 2015-07-09 19:05
Looks like I'll be ok, I think, judging by this. I'm a new ESA claimant through migration from IS with SDA. Currently in possession of the ESA50, awaiting for help with this form.
It's all a bit confusing and a doubly worse time to be called up by DWP when the budget and welfare work bill have been released. So much to get my head around. Oh well....
+4 #4 sfros46 2015-07-09 18:44
Quoting stevie mac:
im in the work group i get high mob dla and middle rate care and serve disability payment 61.oo pound aweek with esa so can anyone tell me do i phone the d w p and ask them to get put into the support group or leave it as it is ihave been getting high dla and mid care and serve dis since oct 2014


To get into the support group you will have to go through the ESA assessment again. You can't simply ask to go into the support group.
+4 #3 Bill24chev 2015-07-09 18:43
A fundamental principle of the welfare state is that if you are working and pay National Insurance you will be entitled to benefit if sick or become unemployed at least for a given period.

I believe that removing CB ESA could be challenged because there is an implied contract between Worker and Government that paying contributions = entitlement to benefit.if you fall ill.
+2 #2 stevie mac 2015-07-09 14:11
im in the work group i get high mob dla and middle rate care and serve disability payment 61.oo pound aweek with esa so can anyone tell me do i phone the d w p and ask them to get put into the support group or leave it as it is ihave been getting high dla and mid care and serve dis since oct 2014
+9 #1 MarkW 2015-07-09 13:19
It sounds as if there is no news on Contributory ESA being abolished yet. That was trailed before the election.
Is it really all down to the whims of one person, with his eeny meeny miny mo!

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