helpline 01494 601 400
19 November 2014

Cuts to employment benefit?

Have you had your employment and support allowance (ESA) temporarily suspended or reduced? Do you think this was fair or justified? During 2014 there has been a significant increase in the number of people being sanctioned for not attending work-focused interviews to help them find employment.

Now parliament's work and pensions committee is reviewing  benefit sanctions for people with ill health and disabilities such as epilepsy. 

In response Epilepsy Society wants to know whether the current ESA sanctions are appropriate and fair for people with epilepsy and to find out what the wider impact is on claimants. 

Please fill in our survey

Epilepsy Society will use the evidence gathered through its ESA sanctioning survey in its response to the work and pensions committee inquiry into benefits sanctions.  

This survey is aimed at people with epilepsy who:
•    receive employment and support allowance (ESA) 
•    are in the work related activity group (see below)
•    and who have experience of being sanctioned.

All the responses to the survey are anonymous. There are 22 questions, including a combination of tick boxes and written responses which will take around 15 minutes to complete. 

Alternatively, If you would prefer to fill in a paper copy of the survey, please email or ring Epilepsy Society on 01494 601 300 ext. 8035.

Please fill in our survey

What is employment and support allowance (ESA)?

ESA was introduced in 2008 to replace incapacity benefit. It is a benefit payment intended for people who are unable to work due to sickness or disability. 

Claimants undergo  work capability assessments to find out whether they are eligible for ESA. Those who are awarded ESA are allocated to one of two groups:
•    the support group or 
•    the work related activity group.

Those in the work related activity group are given regular work-focused interviews to help them find employment. If they do not comply with Jobcentre Plus requests to attend appointments, they risk being sanctioned. This means their benefit payment may be temporarily reduced or suspended.

Find out more about employment and support allowance (ESA).