I need some help as im a little confused. I have been on contribution based esa for a year I got a letter telling me I would be moving to incomebased esa. This morning I got a letter saying I got to attend a work focused interview. I had an atos assessment about year and half ago and they found me fit for work so I then signed on jsa after a while I went back on to esa as I was signed off sick so now a year has passed with nothing happening I have been receiving my contribution based esa my question is this you are suppose to be assessed after 13 weeks but because of he backlog this never happened now I am on income related esa will my claim be backdated to the 14th week of my claim and does a workfocused interview mean I in the work related esa group. Although I will be pushing for it to be changed as I have a medical condition received from an overdose of chemotherapy and the condition will be there for the rest of my life which results in 20 tablets a day help would be appreciated

16 Replies

  • Can you get some help with your claim it all sounds quite confusing

  • yeh I guess I will have to ring them

  • The Citizens Advice are very good good at benefit puzzles.

    Sue xx

  • agree with maryrose54 on this one Get your bum to the Citizens advice , they can lay it all out straight for you and tell you your options .

  • It would confuse a saint, all very peculiar. Has there been some change in the amount of savings you have or other income other than ESA as that could make them move you into the income based group rather than contribution based which normally finishes after a year whereas the income based doesn't usually have a time limited. I have just copied something from Gov.Uk which might help:-

    You’ll normally get the assessment rate for 13 weeks after your claim. This will be:

    up to £57.35 a week if you’re aged under 25

    up to £72.40 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

    After that, if you’re entitled to ESA, you’ll be placed in 1 of 2 groups and will receive:

    up to £101.15 a week if you’re in the work-related activity group

    up to £108.15 a week if you’re in the support group

    If the assessment takes longer than 13 weeks your benefit will be backdated to the 14th week of the claim.

    By looking at how much money you are getting for ESA should tell you which group you are in. With the work related group you have to attend Work Related interviews if asked to do so as they could give you penalties like stopping your benefit for a period of time if they wished. If you are in the Support Group you do not have to attend these interviews.

    Hope this helps a little. If not I would certainly contact the CAB or other Benefit agency in your area. I have found that they can be quite helpful if you ring the DWP as some of them are saints and not sinners but always be careful what you say if you do do that.


    hello fellow sufferers- i do feel for you all the link i have given above is for a site that i have found to be very helpful for advice - i am a sufferer of over twenty years now and have successfully obtained DLA (now known as PIP) in the past - in due course i will be going thru process of applying for PIP - dreading it - but i do recommend the "Benefits and Work" site run by Holly and Steve for help with form filling - and CAB is always good. Benefits and Work does have a "membership fee" - but i consider it worth every penny - it is not a very high amount - tho I realize that every expense can be a nightmare when chronically unwell.

    with you all in spirit - wishing i could do more - i am lucky cos i have someone very kind to tackle all my communications needs (such as here) as i cannot cope at all myself - if i find other useful links and advice shall link it for you - much gentle cyberhugs to you all Zilla xx

  • Hi there, like mayrose, I think your best route would be to get the CAB involved they are totally up to speed with benefits and all it's related obscurities !!

    Wishing you the very best :-)

    Foggy x

  • Hi Frankie2010. Everyone in the WRAG group on Contribution based ESA gets transferred to Income Based ESA after 365 days, unless they have a spouse who is expected to keep them. Your claim won't be backdated to week 14 as the payment is exactly the same as Contribution Based.

    Personally I was never assessed after 13 weeks. Before putting me in WRAG group they had already contacted my doctor for information, and on the strength of that decided which group to put me in.

    Yes, a Work Focused Interview does mean you are in Work Related ESA Group. You are mandated to attend them, but most interviewers can see the state of our health, and basically just ask what help we need from them to help us back into work. If nothing can be done to help you, just tell them so.

    Good luck with getting into Support Group, it isn't easy, I have been trying these past few years and have failed two Tribunals.

    Good luck

    Em x

  • Hi frankie2010

    I am so sorry to read of the confusion that they are giving you, and I genuinely hope that you can get it all sorted. I think that you have been given some wonderful advice to follow up with the CAB and the Benefits & Work website, and from rosewine as well. So I want to wish you all the best of luck with this.

    All my hopes and dreams for you

    Ken x

  • Contribution ESA unless you are in the support group ceases at 365 days. However if you were in support then it should continue. It does seem that you are in the WRAG group as you are having an interview. I would speak to CAB or (AgeUK if you are over 50?)

    If you supply them with sick/fit notes for no longer than 3 months then they cannot force you to go to the interview.

    Be Well

  • Hi offcut , hope you well,

    A question to you or any one else who can help me please. I am on the assesment phase of esa, i sent in a 3 month sick note 4 weeks ago, if they dont call me in for a face to face assesment to see if am unfit for work,which i know i am, but anyway if i am still not called in by the end of when my sick note runs out ,3 months in total ,do i still have to keep on sending them in ? can you put my mind at rest please..

    I have been on Esa before,but that was around 4 years ago and i have a poor memory ,i just dont remember . cheers in advance.xx

  • Once your sick note ( I think they call them Fit Notes now ?) runs out then you can be called in, however the DWP do have the right to get their own Doctor to assess you as fit or not and override the note now. I also would make sure that you have the next note ready when needed for another 3 months. I sent them though the JSA by their fax/internal post service that way it does not "get lost in the post" You have an appointment day and time to see them to send it so they cannot say it was not sent? Hope that helps?

  • Thanks offcut.xx

  • Ive had two months of,so managed to rest,even though still in a lot of pain. In three weeks i will make another appointment ,and get another 3 months if my Dr agrees. And wait to be called for a e.s.a medical


  • hi guys thanks for all your posts bit the bullet and phoned dwp they said that after 365 days I am automatically put on to incomebased esa as I haven't had a medical assessment then I will not have been put in a group and therefore am not suppose to attend any interviews at all and to phone up the job centre and tell them this, she said that there is a possibility that I will get sanctioned but when it gets through to them they can see im not in a group and will still pay my money, yeh righto!!!!! she said the amount of benefit I receive will not change as I haven't been placed in a group and that neither will the money be back dated as contribution based and income based are two different things. I ask her when I would expect to be place in a group as I have been living on 71.00 a week for a year now and that it wasn't really acceptable to be living like this, she said she had no idea and that she couldn't find this information out and that medical assessments are behind in assessing people. I said really you don't say, how would you feel if you had to live on this amount for a year no food, electric gas etc and getting behind on your bills and getting deeper and deeper into debt going to cash convertors to put things on buy back in the hope you will be able to get your stuff back, but you know you never will she replied well sorry, but that's just not good enough I didn't ask for an overdose of chemo and be left with a life long medical condition and what do I get for it , stress, depression and a complete numbness to every day. sorry for the whinging guys just no light at the end of the tunnel just thought I would let you know what they said

  • Hi Frankie- Nurse Gladys Emanuel (open all hours) I,m homing in on your changeover from contr based to income based ESA and your illnesses after chemo. Firstly I was awarded income based which was backdated to my applic date this is because I have savings! contrib based affects your N.I stamps and at pension age it might look a bit sad, I was told income based tops up your N.i stamps for pension age..if you stop work before pension age-I,ve topped at 61.. I made myself a word document of how my illnesses affect my daily life- the assessors only see what you suffer from and not what it does to us daily. I keep this on my pc and send it in with any applic forms for anything don't forget to incl the important issue of the chemo overdose! You are rigtht about backlogs of claims, this is because our government keep changing benefits and so the assessors have to learn a new system and try to lower what they pay us! Not sure about being in a work related ESA scheme you sound like that needs to be dropped.

You may also like...