Fine More Than Doubles For Sick and Disabled Claimants Failing to Take Return to Work Steps


Sick & Disabled Claimants Could Lose 70% of Pay


The British government recently put together plans to withdraw £71 a week from sick and disabled benefit claimants if they fail to take steps to return to the workplace.


According to information from the Guardian, a leaked draft of a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) template letter warns sick and disabled claimants they will part with 70% of their weekly employment support allowance (ESA) if they do not take part in work-related activities, more than doubling the present fine. The DWP is also reportedly finishing up plans on whether to make unpaid and unlimited work experience placements part of work-related activity.



No Regulation More Than Doubles Current Penalty


At this time, those claiming ESA who have also been deemed fit to eventually go back to the workplace following controversial health assessments under the direction of private firm Atos, can only be docked a maximum of £28.15 a week if they break their agreement with their job advisers minus “good cause”.


According to the draft letter, expected to be passed on to all those in the ESA work-related activity group (Wrag), reportedly claims that from Dec. 3, the penalty will increase to £71 a week out of a maximum allowance award of £99.15.


Claimants can be directed into a pair of groups – the support group, who are deemed to be much further away from the workplace and have minimal conditions placed on their benefit claim; and the Wrag group, who are assessed to be able to take steps towards moving into work immediately, undertaking a number of activities to help get them back to work.



Law Changes December 3, 2012


According to the reported draft letter: “From December 3, 2012, the law is changing and you could lose more money, for a longer period of time, if you do not:


  • Attend and take part in work-focused interviews, without a good reason.
  • Carry out work-related activities that your adviser asks you to do, without a good reason.”


Under a heading titled: What is the change?, the two-page letter reportedly adds that there will be increased penalties and punishments for individuals “who do not take the actions requested by the adviser”.



<pAuthor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  Contact:





Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.


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