What to do if you're not awarded ESA
Challenge the decision
You can ask the Department for Communities (DfC) to look at their decision again. This is called mandatory reconsideration. You have to ask within one month of getting your decision letter.
Other benefits you could get
You may be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) instead of ESA. You’ll need to meet the usual rules for people who claim JSA, for example you’ll need to be actively looking for work. If your condition or a disability means you can only work or look for work a limited number of hours each week, you can try and agree this with the Jobs and Benefits Office.
You should tell them that you’re able and willing to look for work, otherwise you won’t get any JSA.
Claiming JSA during a reconsideration shouldn’t affect your ESA reconsideration request.
It's always a good idea to check you're claiming all the benefits you're entitled to. Find out what benefits and extra help you could get using our simple and quick online tool.
Other help with living costs
- ask friends or family if they can help with essentials
- find out what food banks and other help might be available locally
- find out if you can get more help with your living costs
- consider asking a charity for help - the Turn2us website tells you about charities that could help you
- talk to an adviser at Citizens Advice to find out what other help is available in your area