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Don’t cut off people’s benefits while the Government gives a second opinion on who is fit for work

This petition had 18,829 supporters

"Hi. My name is Gary and I’m supporting the Citizens Advice campaign to make Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) fit for work. 

"No one should be put in the same position as me – where I was asked to give evidence to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) stating I was not fit for work while being forced to apply for jobs that I knew I wasn’t able to do by another part of the DWP.

"Please join me and sign their petition calling on the Government to stop cutting off people’s benefits who want to challenge a decision that they are fit for work." 

It’s because of stories like Gary's that Citizens Advice launched the Fit for work campaign asking the Government to make major reforms to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) – the benefit for people who cannot work because they are sick or disabled. 

A new process called ‘mandatory reconsideration’ cuts off people’s disability benefit while the DWP reconsiders their ESA application. This has led to cases where people are being told by one part of the Government that they can’t claim ESA, because they are fit enough to work, while another part of the Government is telling them they can’t claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) because they are not fit for work. This has resulted in some people having no money at all and led to many of the people we help to turn to food banks to get by.  

Anyone who does succeed in applying for JSA will be given the same £71 a week they were being given under ESA. This seems a ridiculous waste of time and money. We estimate that getting people to apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance is wasting over £160 per person in pointless administration.

Please support our petition calling on the Government to put an end to this policy which is wasting taxpayers’ money while placing people in a ridiculous and unfair situation.


-To find out more about the campaign, visit

-To read Gary's whole story, visit his post on our Fit for Work blog 

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