How would cuts to Employment and Support Allowance affect you?


Spartacus produced a briefing when the Chancellor announced his plans this summer to cut £30 per week from the benefits of people in the ESA Work Related Activity Group in order to incentivise them to return to work.

We said that cutting social security for disabled people would place the UK government in breach of its international treaty obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as well as the UN Convention on the Rights of Disabled People. What’s more, this plan is based on the false assumption that people in the WRAG have motivational problems, rather than health or labour market barriers.

Now we welcome a parliamentary review led by Lord Low of Dalston in December to give evidence on how these proposed cuts will affect disabled people and their families. A group of disability charities including Mind, MS Society, National Autistic Society, RNIB, Royal Mencap Society and Scope wants to collect your views on this issue if you receive ESA and would be affected by a cut of £30 a week.

Please help them produce a report to submit to this review. Below is the Disability Benefits Consortium’s consultation questions (you can read more here). Please send your response to using the subject line ‘Review of reduction to ESA WRAG payment’.

Getting the views of disabled people and their families

We want to hear from you if you are currently in the ESA WRAG and would like you to tell us about what it would mean if you had around £30 less a week to live on. You might want to tell us about your experiences of living day-to-day when you were waiting for your work capability assessment, for example.

We also want to find out about the current effectiveness of support within the ESA-WRAG for disabled people undertaking ‘work related activity’ such as training or support to look for work. Getting this right is important so that those people who can work have the opportunity to do so.

Please answer the below questions. Your answers will be incorporated into the final report. We would like to include quotes in the final report. If you would prefer to remain anonymous then please let us know.


  1. Tell us about the support you receive from being in ESA WRAG. For example, you can tell us about how you spend the money you receive and/or the support that is offered to you to help you move towards employment.
  1. What would be the impact on your daily life if you did not have this payment of almost £30 per week? Please feel free to draw on your experience of receiving less money when you were waiting for your assessment for ESA (the work capability assessment).
  1. Would there be an impact on your ability to look for work if the amount of money was reduced? What do you think this impact, if any, would be?
  1. How ready for work do you consider yourself to be? Would further support help you to feel ready for work if you do not feel so already? What types of support, if any, would be helpful to you?

Please send your response to using the subject line ‘Review of reduction to ESA WRAG payment’.

The consultation will be open until 15 November 2015, midnight.

17 thoughts on “How would cuts to Employment and Support Allowance affect you?

  1. I suffer with a bad back lityademer in my right leg and a kidney gone in to my pelvis on right side I was working as s nursery nurse but due to my health I have to retrain in another area of job so I’m going to college and re traning I get 200 a fortnight and I’m struggling to service on that not much left especially in winter


  2. Simple. I would no longer have enough money to eat properly, I would have to give up counselling because I couldn’t afford the bus fare and I would have to get rid of my beloved cat. This happened when I had to wait for a tribunal and my son fed me. I can’t face that again.


  3. I’ve not recieved any kind of benefit since march 15,before that I was on ESA,most of my illness’s are inside,as in,chronic pancreatitis/type 2 diabetes,but,I do suffer with arthritis in both knees and dystonia all very painfull at times,I’ve been to a tribunul and got told I’m fit for work,to be honest I don’t think the panel were who they said they were,plus,I feel my illness’s start due to working long hours on nights,so I have paid in to the system.


  4. I’m on the lower rate ESA at the moment, having had it cut back after failing a medical. It’s difficult to live on but to be honest the most frightening thing is the prospect of losing my appeal tribunal and having to sign on for the same amount of money. I went to the Job Centre as I was told that was my only prospect of getting money while I was waiting for my appeal to be accepted and they were truly horrible to me and despite having a note from my doctor telling them I was suffering from severe depression and not fit to work I was told I needed to pull myself together. I left in tears, never went back and had no money for the next 6 weeks until my tribunal was accepted. I would rather, and indeed did, go without than be treated like that again


    1. I just think that is a terrible way to be treated! Why can’t they do their job & be pleasant at the same time? It’s not just 1 or 2 of them that are nasty it’s the majority..


  5. I am in WRAG and lost £61.10 a week because I moved in with my son to stop him becoming homeless, he now claims Income support & carers allowance. Before I lost the £61 a week I was getting £170+ a week on ESA. Although I get enhanced PIP, both rates, I just about manage with using PIP to survive the month. I don’t drive, my condition forbids it.
    Shortly after taking my meds I Feel like I want to kill anyone that has a go at me and quite often do, my son been on the receiving end, of my outbursts, anybody else would get far worse than the verbal I give him. In 5 years I have had 3 assessments only the first been a F2F the others paper assessments, and the two WFI’s started off with “I should be in the support group!” Something I have known since 2010 but didn’t follow up because it was only £5+ a week, now £7+, I intend to fight for the support group rate at my next assessment that is due any time as the ESA72 stating they will contact me again on or after date as passed, but I understand they are up to 1 year behind in their reassessments.


  6. This is an extension of the Eugenics Program launched in the U.S. in the 1980’s. Please read the Applied Eugenics, published in 1918 and used by the Nazi’s when they implemented to Holocaust. The book recommends artificially creating the conditions of poverty witho8ut the mitigating influence of ‘civilization’…

    These evil people can clean the language but they can’t clean their souls…They are using poverty and resource deprivation as a means of execution. Watch any documentary on the Warsaw Ghetto and you will see that the Nazi’s followed the handbook step by step.

    We’ve been killing the mentally and physically disabled in the U.S. for nearly 40 years.
    Below is the link to Applied Eugenics.
    It is a frightening eye opener.


  7. Already struggle had p I p stopped in August still waiting for appeal date. Have to do this every year ( have won last 2 appeals ) and the money the government try to save usually has to be back dated to claimant and then they have to pay for a judge and doctor to hear your appeal on top of paying a company to assess you in the first place .


  8. If someone is currently in the WRAG, and therefore exempt from this cut at the moment, they will be scared to try work, even if they think they may like to try. This is because of the loss of the linking rule, now, if someone wants to try work, but decides, after more than 12 weeks, that they are actually unable to carry on, and need to go back onto ESA, they would be classed as a new claim, and would lose £30. This will make those who may be able to do some work, LESS likely to try, not only will they be risking their health having a go, but they stand to lose money too! I don’t think Gideon has thought this through at all, most folk in the WRAG don’t work because they are unable to do so due to disability/illness, not because they lack motivation!. Even those who might be able, with support, do “some sort of work”, find that the support is not there, employers are not flexible enough, or “don’t want to know”, or, the only “some sort of work” they could do safely, and repeatedly, doesn’t even exist!!


  9. If my benefit was cut by £30 it wouldn’t force me into work as I am physically unable to work. it would just mean I slowly starve to death. It would mean the small things that make life worthwhile such as a cup of coffee or a small thing like a chocolate bar which help with depression, would be unaffordable. it would mean living in misery and destitution.


  10. My benefits are finally sorted after losing my ESA WRAG following a medical which I failed. I suffer from severe depression and anxiety and can’t leave the house but they say I’m fit to work although I can’t imagine who’d employ someone that couldn’t get to a place of work, let alone actually do anything once there. Anyway I’ve been told my benefits will now be £276 A MONTH. This may be just about enough to pay my rent shortfall, gas, electricity, water and council tax bills, if I’m very very careful with my useage. As for food, well I guess maybe that’s classed as a luxury nowadays, it’s not something I can guarantee I’ll be able to afford. Maybe if I stay in bed for most of the week to cut down on my heating and don’t wash or clean my clothes I might be able to afford the occasional meal


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