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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 July 2015

ESA under the cosh

Photo Paul Mattsson

Photo Paul Mattsson

The Tories intend to slash Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by almost 30 a week. ESA, which replaced incapacity benefit in 2008, is paid to disabled people or those too ill to work who have extra needs.

ESA claimants in the Work Related Activity Group (Wrag) currently get 28.75 a week more than Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). The government will reduce this to just 50p a week more.

To qualify for ESA, claimants must go through a work assessment interview, previously carried out by the disgraced Atos company. There can be three outcomes: You could be found fit for work and told to claim JSA. You could be found to have limited capability for work and put in Wrag. Or you could be put in the support group.

Thousands either denied benefit or put in the wrong group have had their decisions overturned on appeal.

However, you can't claim benefit while the Mandatory Reconsideration is being made, so claimants are driven into absolute poverty, forced to go to charities just to get vouchers for food.

Additionally, someone on ESA or JSA can also receive housing benefit. However, if it is stopped, housing benefit also stops, with the threat of homelessness.

The Department for Work and Pensions advice is to claim JSA in the meantime. However, to claim JSA means that the claimant is admitting that they are looking for and capable of work - and therefore ineligible for ESA!

Osborne's welfare axe:

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In The Socialist 8 July 2015:


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Mighty class-based 'NO' shakes bosses' EU


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cuts for us, handouts for rich

Terrorism and classroom spying

Janner case: more establishment child abuse cover-ups

Stop hammering low-paid - 10 an hour now!

ESA under the cosh

Low-income tenants face rent hikes

Them & Us


Socialist Party features

NSSN conference 2015: "We could stop austerity in its tracks"

Migrants flee horrors created by capitalism


Socialist Party workplace news

Hospital porters mop up in NHS pay battle triumph

Tube union: why we're striking

Britain's biggest union could reconsider funding Labour after leadership elections

Education under attack! Reports from the front line of the fightback

Yorkshire firefighters demonstrate against crew cuts

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party LGBT group plans fightback against attacks and austerity

Bitter fight to save Bitterne walk-in centre continues

Scotland and North-West England hold TUSC conferences


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Why I joined: 'the Socialist Party has given me political confidence'

TV review: Picasso - Portillo's peculiar perspective


 

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Related links:

Benefits:

triangleProfits up Wages down

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleUniversal credit: set up to fail

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

ESA:

triangleDWP to outsource more work to Capita

triangleCanterbury Socialist Party attends 'I, Daniel Blake' film night

triangleFood banks and the real Daniel Blakes

triangleThem & Us

JSA:

triangleWorse off than our parents

triangleBenefit sanctions ruin lives

triangleThe Con-Dems' Machiavellian cuts

Housing:

triangleYoung people need homes

triangleLondon tenants and workers protest against social housing auction

Disabled:

triangleHull City supporters fight to reclaim their club and the game

Employment and Support Allowance:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

Incapacity:

triangleMy struggle for an income I can live on

Welfare:

triangleChesterfield Socialist Party: The fight for the welfare state

Atos:

triangleThem & Us

Unemployed:

triangleBig political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

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