Deduction of ESA from Injury Awards 2017 - Police Federation Judicial Review

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Deduction of ESA from Injury Awards 2017 - Police Federation Judicial Review

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:41 pm

This is the latest news on deduction of ESA under the new rules and the Police federation challenge by Judicial Review.

From the Narpo web site:

http://www.narpo.org/esa-injury-awards-latest/

ESA and Injury Awards Latest The recent change in legislation, which has now made ESA deductible from police injury awards with effect from 10th February 2016, has caused us much concern and we have been in consultation with the Police Federation about the severe detrimental effect this has on our members. After full consideration we can report that the Police Federation have lodged a Judicial Review against the Home Office, on the matter of the deduction of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from injury pensions payable under the Police Injury Benefit Regulations 2006 (PIBR), and specifically regarding the way in which the Home Office has chosen to make changes. ESA is a benefit payable to anyone whose illness or disability affects their ability to work. ESA was introduced as a replacement for (primarily) Incapacity Benefit. The reason for the concern is that, for retired officers, the value of Incapacity Benefit could be deducted from injury pensions under the Police Injury Benefit Regulations (PIBR). Until now, the Home Office failed to amend the Regulations to allow similar deductions regarding ESA, but it is now trying to close that loop. However, instead of making amendments under the Police Pensions Act 1976 (PPA), as we believe it should have done, the Home Office has made them under the Welfare Reform Act 2007 (WRA). The Home Office stated that its reason for this was to bypass the “no worsening” provisions in the PPA. The “no worsening” provisions in PPA mean that (in certain circumstances) no change can be made affecting an accrued pension which puts the person receiving it in a worse position unless that person is given an opportunity to opt out of the application of that change. We are concerned by the Home Office’s approach as it sets a dangerous precedent in its avoidance of the “no worsening” provisions in the PPA which are there to protect members. The impact on retired officers receiving an injury pension is that from the date when these changes became law (10 February 2017) the amount of any ESA the member is entitled to will be deducted from the injury pension paid to that officer under the PIBR. This change applies to pensions already being paid, so as a result many recipients will incur a reduction in income. (It will also affect all injury pension awards made in the future, but this legal challenge if successful can only affect those already in receipt). A further detriment to this is that the ESA can be deducted even if it is payable for a different illness or condition than that which the injury award is payable for. As an example, a member could be receiving an injury award for a back injury and receiving ESA for a psychiatric illness, that full amount of ESA is under this change deductible from the injury award irrespective of the reason for receipt of ESA. We have been contacted by many members who are in this position and are now losing a major source of income that they relied on to survive and many of them now face real financial hardship if this change in Regulations is not reversed. We will continue to fight to achieve the best outcome for our members and will update the website with any developments. wrote:
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