About 100,000 ill and disabled people will lose their Employment and Support Allowance on 30 April 2012.

From that date a new time limit will apply to the Employment and Support Allowance which is paid on the basis of National Insurance contributions. It is called contributory ESA. At the moment it can be paid indefinitely. In future the allowance, worth £99.15 a week, will stop after one year.

The one year time limit will apply at once to an estimated 100,000 people who have already been on contributory ESA for at least a year. Another 100,000 will lose it by April 2013.

The time limit applies to people in what is called the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG). They have been assessed as able to return to work with some help. The time limit does NOT apply to those in the Support Group who are not expected to return to work because their condition is long-term and severe.

The time limit applies to ESA which is based on National Insurance contributions (contributory ESA). It does NOT affect the means-tested (income-related) ESA paid to those with a low income.

Find out more from Paul Lewis’s money blog

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