Cuts to practice and support stipend ‘considered’

Man with disabilities during workMore than dual million people explain practice and support allowance

Ministers are deliberation drastically slicing a categorical Employment and Support Allowance illness benefit, inner papers seen by a BBC suggest.

New claimants, judged to be means of work with suitable support, could be given only 50p some-more per week than people on pursuit seekers allowance.

Current recipients get roughly £30 per week more.

The Department for Work and Pensions pronounced a ESA proposals were not supervision policy.

The papers exhibit that a supervision has also been forced to sinecure additional staff to transparent a reserve on a benefit.

Some 100 medical professionals are being hired to lift out fitness-for-work tests. The staff, who will be employed by a Pertemps agency, will assistance to revoke a reserve of some-more than 600,000 cases.

‘Fiscal risks’

They will be in further to any additional staff brought in when a new executive is announced shortly to reinstate ATOS. The BBC understands that a American firm, Maximus, has been selected.

Leaked papers this summer showed that ministers deliberate ESA – before famous as inability advantage – to be “one of a largest mercantile risks now confronting a government”.

They also suggested concerns about claimants relocating off jobseekers stipend onto ESA.

Giving care to slicing a differential paid to ESA recipients in a Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) – people who have to ready for practice – is a thoughtfulness of that concern.

They now get £28.75 some-more per week though a papers uncover skeleton are being discussed to cut that to only 50p some-more than jobseekers allowance. People receiving JSA, who are aged 25 or over, now get £72.40 per week.

Employment and Support Allowance is paid to approximately dual million people. Claimants have to bear a work capability comment to establish either they are authorised and during what level.

Dame Anne Begg, Chair of a Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee

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Dame Anne Beg says slicing a advantage would be a “real blow” for recipients

Labour MP Dame Anne Begg, who chairs a Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee, pronounced she would support overhauling a smoothness of ESA though “did not envisage” any rebate in a value of a benefit.

“That’s not reform, that is only saving money. we wish that is not something a supervision is going to come brazen with.”

‘Best service’

Problems with a stream provider, a French organisation ATOS, that was allocated by a final Labour government, led to a organisation reaching an agreement with a supervision progressing this year to leave a agreement early.

Ministers lifted concerns about a peculiarity of assessments being carried out by ATOS that has led to a reserve of cases. The reserve is now using during some-more than 600,000.

As ministers concentration assessments on new claimants, recipients who should have been re-assessed underneath a terms of a advantage are not being seen, formulating most of a backlog. Most of those receiving Incapacity Benefit, who should also have been assessed, are also not being tested.

The Office for Budget Responsibility pronounced in a news progressing this month that “the reserve of applications encourages claimants formerly not found authorised for ESA simply to reapply”.

A orator for a DWP pronounced “We are committed to ancillary those people who are means to work to make a certain pierce into employment.

“The stream work capability comment agreement was hereditary from a prior supervision – and we have taken countless stairs to urge it. We will shortly announce a new provider. No one should doubt a joining to ensuring that people who need an comment get a best probable use and are seen in a quickest probable time.”

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