New rules were introduced on 30th March 2015 affecting ESA claims made on or after that date.
The new rules apply to 'repeat' claims - ie new ESA claims made by people who have been assessed as being fit for work under the Work Capability Assessment on their previous ESA claim.
The law was changed to prevent people from ‘looping’ their ESA claims; before 30.3.15 claimants who had been found fit for work more than 6 months previously could make a new claim and be paid the basic assessment phase rate from the start of the new claim. If they had appealed the decision finding them fit for work the process normally took over 6 months; so by the time they lost their appeal, they were able to submit a new ESA claim and be paid again as soon as they made the repeat claim.
NOTE: The 'Repeat Claims' rule will need to be considered when a new claim is made for ESA.
Universal Credit is replacing Income-Related ESA. This means that it is no longer possible for most people to make a new claim for Income-Related ESA.
The only people who are able to make a new claim for Income Related ESA are:
- claimants with 3 or more children who make their claim before 1.2.19 and
- claimants who are subject to the Severe Disability Premium ’gateway condition’
Contributory ESA is not being replaced by Universal Credit.
It is still possible to make a claim for Contributory ESA. (The claimant might need to claim Universal Credit too.)