Hello Fellow Members,
Please read these important changes as from 30th March 2015;
THE EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (REPEAT ASSESSMENTS AND PENDING APPEAL AWARDS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2015
This explanatory memorandum has been prepared by the Department for Work and Pensions and is laid before Parliament by Command of Her Majesty.
Purpose of the instrument
Where an Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimant is found fit for work or not to have Limited Capability for Work (LCW) entitlement to benefit ends. Currently claimants are able to make a repeat claim to ESA after six months and there is no barrier to a repeat award of ESA even where the claimant provides no evidence to suggest that their condition has substantially deteriorated, or that they have a new health condition.
This instrument removes the six month rule and provides that claimants previously found fit for work who make a repeat claim for ESA will not be treated as having LCW and thus entitled to benefit at the assessment rate pending determination of the claim unless they can demonstrate that there has been a significant deterioration in their health condition or a new health condition has developed.
The instrument also provides that ESA payments pending appeal will not be made to claimants previously found fit for work who are found not to have LCW on their repeat claim.
Making these changes will end an unintended consequence where claimants can make repeated claims to ESA despite no significant deterioration in their health condition to ensure these claimants get the appropriate help and support to return to work through claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
To explain here's the Benefits & Work statement;
New reclaim rules
the rule which allows you to reclaim ESA at the assessment phase rate 6 months after a refusal will be abolished for most claimants, though there are some important exceptions. For example, if your condition has got worse or you have developed a new condition, then you may be able to get the assessment rate again - provided the DWP accept that this is the case.
The change is particularly likely to hit people who are too ill or unsupported when they first make a claim to make a proper job of it and who try to claim again later
This new system of mandatory reconsiderations before appeals means if you claim Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) you will lose the right to be paid at assessment rate when they first challenge a decision.
Instead, claimants will have to try to sign on as available for work by claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or manage without any benefit until the reconsideration process ends.Only after once an appeal has been lodged you able to reclaim ESA
Here's info on JSA from Disability Rights UK;
Here's info on UC from Disability Rights UK;
If you are in the position where you are forced to apply for JSA, please see link below about an information factsheet about declaring your disabilities, how it affects you & what reasonable adjustments you would need
Please see this link to another post which has a template for you to complete & hand in to your local Job Centre Plus when you claim JSA;
To keep up to date with Benefit changes, it might be worth signing up for eNewsletters from either Benefits & Work, Turn2us or organisations who help & advise on benefits.
Or follow them on Twitter if you have an account as they Tweet about benefit news
Please can I mention that many are advising when claiming ESA you ensure you get advice or help to complete your original claim.
Don't forget we can send you guides & you can talk to our Benefits Advisor Janet, please see this post for more details;
Also these posts may be of interest;
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