Belfast Telegraph

Numbers seeking benefits help soars

By Nicky Burridge

Citizens Advice today reported a steep increase in the number of people contacting it for help with sickness and disability benefits.

The charity said enquiries about the employment and support allowance (ESA) - the replacement for incapacity benefit - had soared by 77% during the second quarter of the year, compared with the same period of 2009.

It said 45,257 people contacted it about the benefit during the three months, and warned that it was bracing itself for a further sharp increase this autumn, when more people will start receiving it.