A Parliamentary Review into the impact of reducing the Employment and Support Allowance Work-Related Activity Group payment on disabled claimants and their readiness for work
A consultation for disabled people and their families
In July the Government introduced the Welfare Reform and Work Bill which proposes a number of changes to working age benefits.
One of the measures is to reduce payments for new claimants in the Employment and Support Allowance Work Related Activity Group (ESA-WRAG) from £102.15 a week to £73.10. This would take effect from 2017.
ESA-WRAG is a benefit for people found ‘unfit for work’ although able to do ‘work related activity’ such as training and move into work at some point in the future.
The Government has stated that it wants to get 1 million more disabled people into work and that the reduction in ESA-WRAG will incentivise disabled people to look for work. It has said that it will improve specialist support for disabled people to do so.
Disability charities welcome the Government’s aspiration to support more disabled people into work but are concerned about the impact the reduction in payment can have. Therefore we are supporting an independent review to positively support the development of the Bill.
The Parliamentary Review
The review led by the Independent Peer Lord Low of Dalston is being supported by disability charities including Leonard Cheshire Disability, Mind, MS Society, National Autistic Society, RNIB, Royal Mencap Society and Scope. A report will be published in December containing the findings and presented to the Government.
Getting the views of disabled people and their families
We want to hear from you if you are currently in the ESA WRAG and would like you to tell us about what it would mean if you had around £30 less a week to live on. You might want to tell us about your experiences of living day-to-day when you were waiting for your work capability assessment, for example.
We also want to find out about the current effectiveness of support within the ESA-WRAG for disabled people undertaking ‘work related activity’ such as training or support to look for work. Getting this right is important so that those people who can work have the opportunity to do so.
Please answer the below questions. Your answers will be incorporated into the final report. We would like to include quotes in the final report. If you would prefer to remain anonymous then please let us know.
The consultation will be open until 15 November 2015, midnight.