Early day motion 1108

TRANSITIONING FROM ESA TO JSA

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Total number of signatures: 26

Bardell, Hannah Brown, Alan Day, Martyn Durkan, Mark
Gethins, Stephen Godsiff, Roger Hendry, Drew Hermon, Lady
Howarth, George Law, Chris McDonald, Stewart McDonnell, Alasdair
McGarry, Natalie Monaghan, Carol Monaghan, Paul Mullin, Roger
Nicolson, John O'Hara, Brendan Ritchie, Margaret Salmond, Alex
Shannon, Jim Stephens, Christopher Thewliss, Alison Thompson, Owen
Weir, Mike Wilson, Corri

That this House commends the People's Assembly Fife on its report on transition from ESA to JSA; understands that volunteers from the People's Assembly Fife undertook a project over the course of 2016 aimed at advising people who faced benefit sanctions and that this involved speaking to claimants at Kirkcaldy Jobcentre Plus who were transitioning to jobseeker's allowance (JSA) after failing the work capability assessment (WCA); further understands that, according to the report, volunteers spoke to approximately 400 people, of whom 25 per cent were transitioning from employment and support allowance (ESA) to JSA after failing the WCA; notes that the report found very significant gaps in time between claimants receiving their last ESA payment and their first JSA payment and that most were still waiting for their claim to be processed; further notes, from the report, that claimants said they had been waiting for as long as 12 weeks to receive a JSA payment, that most claimants had no other source of income, and that some said that they were begging or relying on family members or the local foodbank for food, and that none of the claimants spoken to by volunteers were aware that they could request an advance payment; and considers it imperative that the Government should ensure that the transition from ESA to JSA is seamless and that claimants should not be left without any source of income while transitioning between the two benefits.