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Benefits

Volume 691: debated on Tuesday 17 April 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, following their announcement during the Report stage of the Welfare Reform Bill on 19 March (Official Report, col. 1022) of a change in the permitted work rules, they will set out all the new rules regarding permitted work for those on benefits. [HL3023]

The change to the permitted work rules announced at Lords Report stage of the Welfare Reform Bill means that, within employment and support allowance (ESA), anyone claiming either the contributory or the income-related benefit will be able to earn up to £86 per week for up to 52 weeks without it affecting their benefit entitlement. The current rules for supported permitted work will apply to contributory ESA and, in addition, those customers on income-related ESA who are able to undertake supported permitted work will be able to do so for up to 52 weeks. We are also looking at ways in which a similar concept to the current personal capability assessment exempt group in Incapacity Benefit could be brought forward into ESA.

Other rules around work, for example the permitted work lower limit and the ability to undertake unlimited voluntary work, will also be brought forward into ESA.