Press release

Important changes to Employment and Support Allowance

People who are able to get back into the workplace will get Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance

From 30 April people who are able to get back into the workplace will get Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA (C)) for a maximum of 12 months. This change will affect people in what is known as the Work Related Activity Group.

The change will mean that from 30 April if someone has received ESA (C) for more than 365 days their benefit will stop. The Department has contacted all of the claimants who will be affected by this ahead of the implementation.

Claimants who have no access to money or support will be able to claim Income Related ESA. People who already been assesed for Income Related ESA will automatically have their benefit adjusted and for those who have not been assessed for Income Related ESA will be asked if they want to make a claim.

People in the Support Group and those receiving income related ESA are unaffected by this measure.

A Department for work and Pensions spokesperson said:

The Welfare Reform Bill set out that ESA for people who could work was never intended to be a long term benefit. A time-limit of one year recognised that some people need extra help to enter the workplace and for those with no other financial support in the household there will be Income Related ESA which can be claimed after the one year limit.

If you require further information or benefits advice visit www.direct.gov.uk

Media Enquiries: 0203 267 5129
Out of hours: 07659 108883
Website: www.dwp.gov.uk

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