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A. Q.


I currently claim Incapacity Benefit and have done so for a number of years. I have heard that I will need to be re- assessed as the benefit is changing. What happens next?


The government has started to re-assess people currently claiming Incapacity Benefit (IB) in order to decide if they qualify for the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).


If you currently receive IB, the Department for Work and Pensions will write to you between now and March 2014 about reassessing your benefit entitlement.


First of all you will have to fill out a questionnaire which asks about your health condition or disability. You must complete this questionnaire with as much detail as possible and return it by the date requested. If you don‘t, your benefit may be affected.


You may then be asked to attend a face-to-face assessment. You will be asked a number of questions to help determine what you are able to do and whether you might be capable of work.


If the assessment finds you meet the qualifying conditions for ESA, you will be automatically transferred to this benefit. If the assessment finds that you're not entitled to ESA, your Incapacity Benefit will stop. You will then have to make a new claim for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) or another benefit that suits your needs.


If you attend an assessment and are unhappy with the way it‘s carried out, or you don't agree with its outcome, you can get advice on what to do from your local CAB.


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