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Changes to Contribution Based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) Spring 2012

Please read the following article if you are at present on this benefit as you will be affected by these changes if the proposed changes go through. Some people will have already have received a letter about this, hopefully this will give you more information.

Changes To Contribution Based Employment Support
Allowance Spring}Ol2
Citizens Advice EIS 9.7.0.5 (1.11.2011)
The government is proposing changes to contributory Employment and Support
Allowance (ESA). These proposals are going through Parliament but are not yet law.
If they become law, the changes will start in April 2012 at the earliest (later in
Northern Ireland).
What are the proposed changes
The proposed changes are:
if you're in the Work-related Activity Group, the amount of time for which you can
get contributory ESA will be limited to 12 months
If you're limited capability for work began in youth (before the age of 20 or, in some
cases, before the age of 25), there will be no special conditions of entitlement.
What do the changes mean for you
If the changes become law and you're getting contributory ESA in the Work-related
Activity Group, you'll lose your contributory ESA after 12 months. Time spent in the
Support Group or breaks in your claim will not count towards the 12 months. Periods
spent in the Work-related Activity Group will be added together.
If you have already been getting contributory ESA in the Work-related Activity
Group for 12 months or more when the change comes in, your contributory ESA will
stop immediately.
If you moved from lncapacity Benefit or Severe Disablement Allowance on to
contributory ESA and you were placed in the Work-related Activity Group, yotx 12
months entitlement to contributory ESA will be calculated from the day you moved
from your old benefit.
If your limited capability for work began in youth, you will have to meet the same
national insurance conditions as everyone else when you make a new claim for
contributory ESA. If you are placed in the Work-related Activity Group, your
contributory ESA will be limited to 12 months.
If you're in the Support Group, your ESA will not be time limited.
If you're getting income-related ESA, your income-related ESA will not be time
Iimited.
If you're in the Work-related Activity Group and getting both contributory and
income-related ESA, the contributory element will stop after 12 months. Your
income-related ESA will continue and be adjusted to cover the loss, provided your
other income and your capital remain the same. If your income or capital changes, this
may affect the amount of income-related ESA you get.
If you're in the Work-related Activity Group and you're getting contributory ESA but
not income-related ESA, you may become eligible for income-related ESA when your
contributory ESA stops. You will not need to make a new claim for this, but you may
need to supply further information to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
Income-related ESA is means tested, so the amount you get depends on your income
and capital and on the income and capital of your partner, if you have one.
If you require any additional information please call our
Telephone Gateway Service on
01772 424282
Changes To Contribution Based Employment Support
Allowance Spring20l2
What to do now
You do not need to do anything to continue to receive your current benefit. If you
receive ESA in the Work-related Activity Group, Jobcentre Plus will write to you
about the proposals in the four weeks starting 19 September 2011. If the proposals
become law, they will write to you again before the change takes effect.
If you might be eligible for income-related ESA when your contributory ESA stops,
but you are not getting it now, make sure that you provide Jobcentre Plus with up-todate
details of your income and capital before the change takes effect. This will
ensure that they have all the information that they need to transfer you on to incomerelated
ESA when the time comes.
If you are getting contributory ESA in the Work-related Activity Group but you have
a health condition that is getting worse, you might become eligible to be placed in the
Support Group instead. This would mean that your contributory ESA would not be
time limited. If you think this might apply to you, you would have to show that your
health had got worse since the decision was made to place you in the Work-related
Activity Group. You need to contact your local Jobcentre Plus office and ask for a
review of your case, providing extra medical evidence. You may be asked to attend a
further Work Capability Assessment.
If your income falls when your contributory ESA stops, you may become eligible for
other means-tested benefits or an increase in these benefits if you are already getting
them. For example, you may be able to claim more:
Housing Benefit
Council Tax Benefit
Working Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Pension Credit.
It would be in your best interest to get your benefit entitlement checked, you
could arrange this by contacting Our Telephone Enquiry Line on 01772 424282,
or alternatively Welfare Rights on 0845 053 0013 or Turn 2 Us on their free
phone number 0808 802 2000
More information about the proposed changes can be found on Department for
Work and Pensions website www.dwp.gov,uk
Please Note:
It is very important that if your are set to loose your payment of Employment
Support Allowance that you factor this into your weekly budget, and seek
appropriate budgeting or debt advice as soon as possible if you feel you will not
be able to continue to meet any agreed repayments for monies borrowed.
If you require any additional information please call our
Telephone Gateway Service on
01772 424282

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