Changes to Incapacity Benefit

Emma Taylor Posted by
Thursday, November 24th, 2011

The Social Security Agency’s Chief Executive, Tommy O’Reilly has explained how a change to the benefit system may affect people in the area. As part of the changes, between now and March 2014, those who are currently receiving Incapacity Benefit (which includes Incapacity Benefit, Income Support paid because of incapacity and Severe Disablement Allowance) will be reassessed.

O’Reilly said, “I know that this will be a big change and a worrying time for some people. However, I can assure readers that the Social Security Agency is doing all it can to provide all our customers across Northern Ireland with full information. In fact, throughout the course of reassessment the Agency will be in touch with customers at least 7 times, either by telephone or letter.”

“Over the next three years, Incapacity Benefit customers will receive a letter telling them that their case is to be reassessed. This will be followed by a telephone call to answer any questions and explain how the process will work. Customers do not need to contact us, we will be in touch at the time their case is to be reassessed” O’Reilly continued.

He added, “Next, they will be invited to take part in a Work Capability Assessment. This will involve customers being asked to complete a questionnaire, which is then reviewed by an independent healthcare professional. In most cases it is expected that the customer will be asked to come for a face to face medical assessment. Those who are able to engage in work related activity will transfer on to Employment and Support Allowance. As a condition for being paid, they will be required to engage with the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), who will provide support and guidance to help them move towards work.

If you have any questions about these changes and how they will affect you go to:

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