ESA Form Now Asks If Claimants Have Been In Prison
A fellow disability rights campaigner, who our editor highly respects, is currently supporting a claimant to fill out an ESA form.
She recently informed her Facebook contacts that one of the questions on this form asks whether claimants have been in prison in the last six months.
Same Difference is more than a little shocked by this question. We can’t understand how it is relevant. Since you can’t claim either JSA or ESA while on remand or, we assume, in prison, surely anyone making a claim for ESA would have to have been released before making the claim.
Also we feel that the six month time limit is a bit long. Maybe two weeks or even one month would be a sensible time period, but six months? So does being in prison six months ago make a person less disabled? Or are people supposed to go without benefits for six whole months after release? What would that mean for them if ESA or JSA is their only source of income?
We’ve also seen through the link above that Carers Allowance stops if the person being cared for goes to prison, which makes sense as they no longer need care from their carer on the outside. However DLA also stops, which makes less sense.
Consider the case of Daniel Roque Hall, a severely disabled wheelchair user who still needed a significant amount of personal care while he was in prison.
Same Difference fully understands stopping the transport/getting around component of DLA/PIP for prisoners, since they no longer need to be transported. However, for those prisoners who are severely disabled, wouldn’t continuing the care component make sense?
Your thoughts are very welcome, as always.