Employment minister Chris Grayling has finally provided an explanation, in a written parliamentary answer, for cutting the time required to return an employment and support allowance ESA50 form compared to an incapacity benefit IB50 form.

As we reported last month, the government has slashed the amount of time available to complete an ESA50 questionnaire form, reducing it from 6 weeks to 4 weeks, starting with forms issued on 31 October.

Grayling claims that the decision to reduce the length of time claimants have to return ESA50 forms to 28 days was based on the fact that claimants no longer have to get in touch with their GP. The time limits for returning IB50 forms had previously included 14 days to allow claimants time to make an appointment to see their GP.

Grayling acknowledges concerns about the effects of the reduction in time to return ESA50 forms on vulnerable people. He assured MPs that decision makers will take account of claimant’​s state of health, nature of their disability, and whether or not they were present in GB at the time before deciding if claimants have good cause for not completing the ESA50 questionnaire on time.

The full written answer is available at They Work For You


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