Parkinson's UK welcomes benefit announcement

Work and Pensions Secretary, Damian Green, announced today, Saturday 1 October, that people with long-term health conditions will be exempt from Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) reassessment.

Media have reported that people with certain health conditions that are lifelong and will not improve will no longer need to be assessed every 6 months.

It is not yet clear yet if people with Parkinson's will be exempt from reassessment.

Current ESA assessments

Many people with Parkinson's receive ESA because they're too ill to work.

We believe the eligibility tests for ESA are unfair, crude and simplistic. The system is badly failing people with Parkinson's – but we're campaigning for change.

Step in the right direction

Commenting on Damian Green’s announcement, Laura Cockram, Parkinson's UK Policy and Campaigns Manager, says:

"We welcome the Department for Work and Pensions' (DWP) announcement that people with severe lifelong conditions will no longer have to go through the stressful and unfair process of being reassessed for ESA.

"It's not right for people with long-term progressive conditions, such as Parkinson's, to have to battle for access to ESA by repeatedly having to 'prove' they still have the condition.

"It is crucial that the DWP work closely with patient organisations to develop the list of health conditions exempt from reassessment.

"We hope that the government applies a similar principle to the unnecessary reassessments to other crucial benefits such as Personal Independence Payments."