Extra statutory scheme for ESA claimants moving between GB and Northern Ireland
The Law Centre helped secure ESA payments for a man who had had his benefit stopped when he moved to Northern Ireland from England.
When he moved to Northern Ireland from England he expected that his claim for Contributory ESA (support group) would be transferred. He suffers from severe medical problems and had recently passed the Work Capability Assessment in England. After he moved he found it difficult to get information on what to do and he was told that he would need new medical evidence to support a fresh claim. When he contacted the Law Centre he was facing street homelessness due to the delay in dealing with his application.
The Law Centre was able to contact the Social Security Agency directly and payments were quickly made under the extra statutory scheme that was set up as a result of earlier Law Centre cases to pay those affected by the failure to include ESA in reciprocal arrangements between NI and GB.
As a result of this case, SSA has assured us that information will be made available on NI Direct in relation to the extra statutory scheme and how to access it.
The Law Centre has also been assured by the Department for Social Development that ESA will be included in amendments to the reciprocal arrangements in the course of welfare reform.
Advisers who would like more information on the scheme are welcome to contact our advice line or to discuss this at practitioner meetings.
We have two social security practitioner meetings coming up:
Wednesday 1 July, 11.00am, Law Centre (NI) Training Room, 124 Donegall Street, Belfast
Tuesday 7 July, 2.15pm, Law Centre (NI) Western Area Office, 9 Clarendon Street, L'Derry
All advisers and practitioners are welcome