End to ESA reassessments comes into effect

Published date: 28 Sep 2017 at 11:00PM

Photo shows Big Ben clock face with MS Society flag taken by Rebecca Cresta

From today, some people with MS won't have to be re-tested for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) after their next reassessment.

Last October the Government announced it would stop ESA reassessments for people with severe conditions who can't work.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has confirmed this change will start from today. They’ve also provided more detail about who it will apply to.

Will the ESA assessment change apply to me?

This change affects people in the Support Group for ESA across the whole UK. The rules will apply from your next reassessment. You will no longer have to be reassessed if the assessment finds you:

  • have a severe life long disability, illness or health condition.
  • are unlikely to ever be able to move into work.

We'll update you as soon as we have any more information about how this will work.

Will this affect my PIP assessments?

Unfortunately this change doesn’t affect Personal Independence Payment (PIP). But we’re calling on the Government to stop unnecessary PIP reassessments too.

We’re also continuing to push for further improvements across the benefits system to make sure people with MS get the support they need.

A step towards making welfare make sense

Responding to the news, our Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, said:

“This is a long-awaited step towards making the welfare system make sense. We hope it will be good news for people with MS, but we still don’t know how many people it will help.  We’d also like to see transparency around how the new process is working.

“Now the Government has recognised the futility of re-testing people with chronic and severe conditions who are too unwell to work, the same move needs to be made for other disability benefits. People with MS should be able to rely on support without the constant fear of having it taken away.”

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Page last updated: 29 Sep 2017

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