October 2016 – Pointless Employment Support Allowance Reassessments Abolished
The government has announced that it is to abolish pointless employment and support allowance (ESA) reassessments for those with lifelong, severe health conditions with no prospect of improvement.
In a statement by Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green has said there are a group of people for whom constant reassessment is pointless and which does increase their stress and anxiety levels. If someone has a disease which can only get worse then it does not make sense to ask them to turn up for repeated appointments. If their condition is not going to improve, it is not right to ask them to be tested time after time.
Applicants for ESA have to undergo a work capability assessment to find out if they are eligible and they are re-tested to ensure their condition has not changed. Some are re-tested every three months and others up to two years later.
Under the governments change, those who are deemed unfit for work and with conditions that will not improve will no longer face re-testing.
Illnesses such as severe Huntingtons, autism or a congenital heart condition are among those that are likely to qualify for continuous payments without reassessment. The criteria will be drawn up with health professionals
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