New ESA regulations will cheat people of support

By Sue Marsh
January 26, 2013

On Monday 28 January SI 2012 No. 3096, Social Security: The Employment and Support Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 2012 come into force - unless you, and MPs, act.

These Regulations alter the way in which claimants of Employment Support Allowance (sickness benefit) will be assessed.

In the Explanatory Memorandum they purport to simply “clarify” the existing ESA Regulations (SI 794 of 2008) “rather than make changes to existing policy”. In reality, they completely alter the basis on which claimants are assessed.

Their effect is that the Work Capability Assessment will often not give an accurate picture of claimants’ health problems and their actual ability to work. Many who currently qualify for ESA under the existing regulations may find that they fail to do so under the amended regulations.

A detailed briefing is available on Ekkleia here:

Early Day Motion 947 ( has been sponsored by Caroline Lucas MP to annul the Regulations. It has been backed by Labour, Green SDLP and Plaid Cymru members.

People have been writing to their MPs. If you have not done so already, please take the time to do it now or over the weekend (Word document download):


© Sue Marsh contributed to the new Briefing on Employment and Support Allowance (Amendment) Regulations 2012 ( as project leader. She was one the the authors of the original Spartacus report, 'Responsible Reform' (, which exposed the lack of support and proper verification behind the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA). She has lived with severe Crohn's Disease for nearly three decades, and campaigns to raise awareness of hidden disabilities and long term illness. She spoke on welfare reform at the 2012 Greenbelt Festival, as part of a Children's Society / Ekklesia panel. Her 'Diary of a Benefit Scrounger' blog, from which this post is adapted, can be found here: Sue also writes for the Guardian's Comment-is-Free website: Her Ekklesia blog is here:

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