The period new claimants will have to wait before they are eligible for benefits is to be extended

From autumn, anyone who loses their job will receive £40 less as a result of government plans to make people wait for longer for any job support, according to a new consultation published by the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC) – an official body that advises the Department of Work and Pensions on benefits issues.

The government plans to make all new claimants for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) wait seven days before they are eligible for help: at present they only have to wait three days. The committee’s consultation reveals that, according to the government’s own assessment, JSA claimants will lose £40 on average, while disabled people claiming ESA will lose £50.

The government’s impact assessment of the change, published by the SSAC as part of its consultation, shows that over 1.3 million people a year will be affected. It also believes that disabled people will be disadvantaged by the new policy and that under Universal Credit, “the potential hardship for claimants is much greater.”

The TUC believes that the new policy will make newly unemployed people easy prey for loan sharks, with even the government admitting that the change may increase reliance on short-term loans.

Further information is available here