Getting your ESA decision after an assessment

This advice applies to Scotland. See advice for See advice for England, See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Wales

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a letter with their decision. They might decide to:

  • keep giving you ESA and put you in the ‘work-related activity group’

  • keep giving you ESA and put you in the ‘support group’

  • stop your ESA because you don’t have limited capability for work

If you’re waiting for a medical assessment

At the moment, the DWP will try to do the assessment by looking at your medical evidence and talking to you over the phone or by video call. It’s important to send your medical evidence as soon as possible.

If the DWP can’t assess you over the phone or by video call, they’ll invite you to a face-to-face medical assessment.

If you haven’t heard anything after 8 weeks from the date of your assessment, contact the DWP to ask them what’s happening. You can ask them by:

  • writing to the address on any ESA letters you’ve received

  • calling Jobcentre Plus

Jobcentre Plus

Telephone: 0800 169 0310

Textphone: 0800 169 0314

Welsh language: 0800 328 1744

Relay UK - if you can't hear or speak on the phone, you can type what you want to say: 18001 then 0800 169 0310

You can use Relay UK with an app or a textphone. There’s no extra charge to use it. Find out how to use Relay UK on the Relay UK website.

Video relay - if you use British Sign Language (BSL).  

You can find out how to use video relay on YouTube.

Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

If you’re put in the support group

You’ll keep getting ESA.

You don’t have to:

  • get any more fit notes

  • go to interviews or any other work-related activity

The amount of ESA you get will go up 13 weeks after your claim started. Check how much ESA you’ll get.

If the DWP stop your ESA

Ask the DWP to look at their decision again if you think it’s wrong. You should do this within 1 month of the decision date on your letter.

You can make a new claim for ESA if since the DWP’s decision:

  • your condition has got worse

  • you’ve got a new condition

You can check what type of ESA you can claim.

Check how long you’ll keep getting ESA

The DWP will usually assess you again between 6 months and 2 years after the decision. They don’t usually tell you how long it will be until the next assessment.

Even if the DWP tell you how long it will be until the next assessment, this is just a guide. Don’t worry if:

  • you get invited to an assessment earlier

  • you haven’t been invited to an assessment and the expected date has passed

If you get either new style ESA or contribution-based ESA, it will stop 1 year after your claim first started.

If you get any income-related ESA, it won’t stop.

You can check what you can do at the end of the 1 year limit.

Page last reviewed on 01 May 2020