People who receive Incapacity Benefit in the future will have to wait an extra 24 weeks to receive the longer-term rate, no SERPs addition will be payable, and there will be no age addition for anyone over 45. Claimants of Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance will no longer receive any increase for non-working partners under 60 unless caring for children. For some people these structural changes can represent a cut in benefit in excess of pounds 50 per week.
Over the next three years, 520,000 people are estimated to lose incapacity benefits. Those who appeal against a decision to withdraw their benefit can claim Income Support without signing on. But those who do so will have their benefit reduced by 20 per cent. This "appeal penalty" is surely one of the worst examples of Peter Lilley's strategy of cutting by stealth.
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