Employment and support allowance (ESA) cuts for new claimants are to go ahead after the government finally won its battle with the House of Lords yesterday.
The Tories want to reduce ESA payments for claimants in the work-related activity (WRAG) group by £30 a week, bringing them down to the same level as JSA. They believe this will encourage WRAG claimants, such as those with degenerative diseases or serious mental health conditions, to go out and find work.
Twice the House of Lords voted down the changes, but yesterday the government finally got its way after declaring that the measures were covered by financial privilege rules.
The cuts will be introduced in April 2017, with the DWP claiming that no current ESA claimants will be affected.
Appeal numbers drop
There has been an 80% drop in benefits appeals. But the DWP expect numbers to rise sharply as a result of the forced move from disability living allowance to personal independence payment.
If you are one of these claimants please make sure you seek advice before you complete your PIP form. We here at the Disability Advice Project are happy to help. We can provide you with information and advice that will help you understand what needs to be put on the form. If you don’t feel you can manage to complete it yourself DAP may be able to offer you an appointment with one of its Welfare Benefits Caseworkers.