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Lord Freud has announced that employment and support allowance (ESA) claimants in the work-related activity group (WRAG) will be able to do higher limit permitted work for an unlimited period, instead of stopping after 52 weeks.

At present, ESA claimants in the support group can work for less than 16 hours a week and earn not more than £107.50 for an unlimited time.

But WRAG claimants can only do this for 52 weeks and then they have to switch to lower limit permitted work, earning not more than £20 a week. After 52 weeks of lower limit permitted work, or no work, they can again do higher limit permitted work for 52 weeks.

However, Lord Freud announced in a debate on welfare reform this week that:

“I want to act now to improve the work incentives for those continuing to get ESA—in other words, before they move on to UC—by removing the 52-week limit that applies to permitted work for those in the ESA WRAG. ESA WRAG claimants can currently work up to 16 hours and earn up to £107.50 per week under the permitted work rules, and keep their benefit. But the existing position is that, after undertaking permitted work for 52 weeks, ESA claimants in the WRAG have to stop work altogether, reduce their earnings to £20 per week, or lose their benefit. We will amend the regulations to remove the 52-week limit and allow claimants to continue to undertake 16 hours of part-time paid work and earn up to £107.50 per week, gaining skills and experience and building their confidence while still receiving benefit over a longer period.”

No date has been given ,as yet, for when the regulations will be amended. So, for the present, the 52 week rule still applies.


#7 Asbo 2016-03-18 16:12
Quoting Touria :
hi i would like to know if its possible to move from esa work related to esa support group ? this questrion is on behalf of my husband who is registered blind. hope to hear from you very soon.

thank you.

Touria, I think he would need to get in touch with them again and fill out a new ESA50 on the grounds that his condition has got worse (that is if he has gone beyond the original time of appeal from the first decision) but best to ask your question in the forum as this is just a comments board. Good luck :-)
#6 Touria 2016-03-18 01:35
hi i would like to know if its possible to move from esa work related to esa support group ? this questrion is on behalf of my husband who is registered blind. hope to hear from you very soon.

thank you.
#5 Asbo 2016-03-09 16:22
I can tell you now the permitted work will not include self-employment unless that self-employment is financially viable and how many disabled people can put in the hours to make a business viable? It is discriminatory since more disabled people are tied to the home and therefore self-employment from home is their only option
+1 #4 june cunningham 2016-03-09 14:14
The Lords should dispense with any regard to what is regarded as
practise in their relationship with the Commons and proceed with their
Gut instincts disregarding any protection the Commons feel they have with regard to financial protection!
The disabled have not got ANY financial privilege.
It us also time that on matters such as this Government rights to use the Whip to force their proposals onto elected MPs should be abolished and Mp's need to stand firm in their beliefs and represent their constituents who put them where they are!
#3 angela 2016-03-08 09:15
So the cuts to ESA will be going ahead have just read on the text on the news well that never lasted long so certain claiments will have there benefit cut from £103 a week to £73 a week ministers say it will encourage people to get into work welcolme to the real world
+2 #2 tazman 2016-03-03 12:19
Does anyone know what UC will be like for us? I'm expecting it to be much harsher regarding both assessments and benefit rates. I have been worried about it for a while now, but I expect many are. How I wish I could have a worry free day!

Apologies if this has been covered previously.
#1 shimtoan 2016-03-02 18:54
IDS won't like this one bit

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