ESA update

Following the letter from the DWP last week telling me I'm now in the WRAG group for ESA, I rang them up and asked them for a copy of my report.

I got it today. All it is, is a summary of the questionnaire but it does state under prognosis that "a return to work is unlikely for at least 2 years". Bit confused now as the letter stated that I would only get ESA for 365 days. I honestly don't think the left hand knows what the right hand is doing with all this.

Also, I don't know whether I should appeal or just wait and see what happens.

Any thoughts?

B xx

15 Replies

Hiya B :)

have a look at this link ...specifically para 14.1 .

You can only get contribution based ESA for 365 days (during which partner's income/ your capital/second home etc are not taken into account).

After 365 days you can claim ESA (Income related ) but this takes into account partners income/savings/other capital.

Any time in the support group does not count towards the 365 days.

It might be worth taking the med report (ESA 85 ) and detail to an advice centre to see if it might be worth challenging the decision.. again the eligibility for the support group are in the Disability Alliance link above.

You can get housing costs , if you have a mortgage.. this would be paid by ESA (income related)even while you are claiming ESA (Contribution based)

If my words didn't explain it ...i hope the link does :)

Let us know what happens

Rich C


I should just add that appealing the WRAG decision could mean that you are assessed as being fit for work .. have a look at :

to see if you qualify for legal aid then if you do you can find a local specialist using:


Either way i would consider a face to face interview with a CAB or other advice centre.



Thanks Rich. That's what I was worrying about - that if I appeal, it could always go the other way as there seems to be no rhyme or reason to their decisions. R does work although he doesn't earn alot at the moment as he is self-employed and has to be around to look after me some of the time.

I'll see if I can find someone to give me some face to face advice. thanks for the heads up

B xx


No problem B,

Just remember the time limits for appealing the decision.. and read all paperwork you receive very carefully :)

Rich :)


My hubby has recently requested a 'revision' as he has been placed in the WRAG group when he was migrated from IB to ESA.

Take a look at this link and scroll down to the part called Schedule 3.

This is the 'descriptors' for the Support Group. These are the reasons that get you into the Support Group. If you believe that you can demonstrably argue that you meet any of these then appeal. Firstly the DWP will look at your case and decide if they can 'revise' their decision, if you don't like the response and still feel you have a right to be in the Support Group then you can go to a Tribunal.

If you are going to request a revision then you must get the request in within 1 month of the date on the letter that you recieved telling you that you are in the WRAG. I would also ring the call centre and tell them that you are submitting an appeal and ask them to record that on your file. You can hand your paperwork in at a JOBCENTRE PLUS but make sure that they date stamp it. It will then go through the DWP internal post. Again if you go through this route ring the call centre and tell them you have handed it in the the JCP and ask them to record that on you file.

It would also be worthwhile getting any support evidence that you can - doctors letters/reports, letters from carers etc, letter from your employer (or ex employer) if possible.

I have found, over the years of dealing with the DWP on hubbies behalf that it pays to keep getting stuff recorded on your file, and keep copies of everything.

Don't expect anything to happen quickly. Appeals can take anything up to a year to grind through the motions, especially if you go to the Tribunal Courts.

As has already been said. If you are on 'Contributions Based' ESA it will pay out for 365 days. Then unless you are eligable for 'Income Related' ESA it will stop. You are unlikely to qualify for Income Related ESA if you have another income such as a pension or your partner has an income or there is capital. However, I believe you can reapply for ESA after 12 weeks of your payments stopping if you still qualify - though check this out as I haven't got this far yet in my researches (and hoping I won't have to :-))

Good luck!


Thanks Spuddie. Reading through I think I do meet the riteria for mobilisation of more than 50 metres. I can do it but needs periodic rest stops so I've written to them and asked them to look at the decision again. I've also copied it to my rehumy nurse so fingers crossed ...


Hi There I went through all that and got refused because my husband is working i passed all the medicals and they said i cannot claim


Oh dear Rose. Hope the same doesn't happen to me but I wouldn't be surprised... xx


It appears to my observation at the moment generally, and certainly in my experience of the IB->ESA process thusfar, that the ESA50 questions in their own right constitute all the information needed for The Secretary of State to assert, in essence, that as long as the (In my case at least) State Registered Nurse employed by ATOS Healthcare has rubberstamped the ESA50...

"You are sufficiently fit to get to the jobcenter without dying yourself, being a danger to others, being pregnant or a nursing mother, or being of diminished mental capacity in the legal sense. Go to it and pray for work."

While the published ESA medical analysis procedure uses phrases like may/might/could etc, the practical reality of the so called medical assessment boils down to the bluntly described process above.

As a curiosity, I applied the check-box criteria as stated on the ESA50 that was online a few days ago to my 78 year old father, who is retired, has an artifical hip, and *is more mobile and faster on his feet than I am*.

Oddly enough, he passed too...

I'll keep you all posted :(



0 minutes ago


This is another very useful link.

It takes a lot of plodding through - but it is the training manual for the DWP Health Care Professionals. It is useful to read the wording of what they are looking for and why in your answers to the ESA50 questionaire and what they would expect to see at a medical directly related to each of the questions.

I think that there are also references to 'fluctuating' conditions and the guidance they need to follow on making decisions relating to 'fluctuating' conditions.

I found it very usual when constructing my hubbies 'revision/appeal' paperwork.

This is readily available online - so I don't think I am breaking any laws by passing the link on.


v.v.v. interesting. Anyone about to embark on this fiasco should read this. Have you seen some of the requirements?

"I observed him standing for 3 minutes only during my examination of his spine

but he exhibited no distress and this, in conjunction with my clinical examination

recorded below, would not be consistent with his stated inability to stand for less

than 30 minutes"

what???? this is what these people are being told? It's a b*****y disgrace!!

Anyone going for an examination be warned - Big Brother is watching you! (literally)


"This activity relates primarily to lower limb function. It is intended to reflect the

level of mobility that a person would need in order to be able to move reasonably

within and around an indoor environment. It is not intended to take into account

transport to or from that environment."

Are these people for real? So how are we supposed to get to and from work then? Beam me up Scottie?

If this wasn't so awful it would be funny!


Hey spuddie. I followed your link, and got "Sorry, this page cannot be found" from the DWP website.

Moving Targets, anyone?

Yes, I know I'm a cynic...


Possibly. Just type "WCA Handbook" into Google. You'll be interested in what comes up :-)) B x


hi i have beenoff worksince august last ssp ran out so applied fo resa got told not enough contributions ,cak.i spent 4 weeks arguing this and prooving them wrong even cotributions agency agreed with me.anyways they finnaly caved in and i got back dated esa.

prior to me getting it they sent me a pink esa form to fill in for atos ,i argued im not filling inas im not getting benifit wastold i had to so i did, after been getting my benifit for 2 months, i got a phone call last night telling me that i have neen placed in support group and do not have to send any more certificates in, and i get xtra money and this runs till oct 2014. i was gobsmacked to say the least.however i did wonder what would happen if they placed me in wrag, astechnically im still employed till medical retirement goes through ,beggars releif really. this system is not good,but has benifitted me at mo or will when benifit comes through. we shall see.. moralof the story do not take what they tell you lying down always check xxxx


ps so conribution based must run longer than 365 days?


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