NI: Law Centre (NI) seeks to extend positive decision on ESA for retired civil servants on Civil Service Injury Award
Law Centre (NI) has successfully represented a former civil servant who had appealed a decision to reduce her Incapacity Benefit because Northern Ireland’s Social Security Agency had said her civil service injury award was equivalent to a pension and therefore affected her entitlement.
The Department of Finance and Personnel, which is responsible for the scheme, provided evidence that this type of payment is not a pension but is discretionary and solely attributable to accident or illness, and therefore an Appeal Tribunal allowed the appeal.
Meanwhile, the client migrated to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and the Law Centre ran a parallel appeal for ESA. The ESA office has now revised its decision in the client’s favour, paid arrears of £1,200 and increased ESA by £20 per week. However, ESA office stated that the decision only applies to this case.
Solicitor Patricia Carty, social security legal adviser at the Law Centre, said: “Although this is a good result for the client, the decision unfortunately leaves the issue unresolved for other former civil servants in similar circumstances.
“People who continue to be affected by this issue should contact the Law Centre for advice. We would seek to join their cases together and hopefully obtain a positive decision for everyone in receipt of the civil service injury award.”
The Law Centre’s advice line is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm: 028 9024 4401 or 028 7126 2433.