Employment and Support Allowance campaign

Many blind and partially sighted people rely on the benefit Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) whether on a short, or long term basis.

With only one in four registered blind and partially sighted people in employment, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a vitally important benefit. It’s the main source of income for thousands of people living with sight loss and the proposed cut of £30 a week contained in the Welfare Reform and Work Bill has been fiercely opposed by RNIB.
Last year, we fought hard against the Government's plan to reduce the amount new claimants in the Employment Support Allowance Work-Related Activity Group (ESA WRAG) receive. Unfortunately we weren't successful and the cut comes into force on 1 April 2017. 
The cut will mean that disabled people placed in the WRAG will no longer receive a payment (currently £29.05) to compensate for the extra expenses of being on a low income for a long period. At current rates, this is a loss of nearly £30 per week, taking weekly ESA down to £73.10.
We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who's got involved in this campaign. While we may not have been successful in reversing the cut, we have made the voices of thousands of disabled people heard and raised the profile of this issue. 
If you're concerned by this change, our helpline is on hand to help. Please call the team on 0303 123 9999.


Employment campaigning news

It's vital that blind and partially sighted people have access to employment. Find out what we're doing to ensure that blind and partially sighted people have equal access to employment and services such as Access to Work are protected.

Check out the latest Employment news

Protecting welfare support news

There's clear evidence that living with sight loss brings a range of additional costs. We campaign for a fairer benefits system and to ensure people with sight loss have access to disability benefits. 

Find out what we're doing to protect welfare support