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Contributory ESA or contribution-based JSA in a Universal Credit area

This advice applies to Wales

If you live in an area where Universal Credit has started and you're getting contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), the DWP may change the decision on your claim.

This page tells you more about the different circumstances when the decision may be changed and how you can challenge a decision you don't agree with.

You've been sanctioned

Your benefit can be reduced or stopped because you've been sanctioned. If you are sanctioned, you might want to challenge the decision. For example, if you had good reason for failing to attend a work-focused interview or the decision maker got the facts wrong.

If you're sanctioned, the decision maker will change your benefit decision by supersession and your benefit will be reduced or stopped from the date the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) became aware of the sanction. If you're getting conributory JSA in a Universal Credit area you can make an appeal without asking for a reconsideration first.

You were awarded an advance claim

If you are awarded benefit on an advance claim and the DWP later decides that you did not meet the conditions for getting contribtory ESA or contributory JSA, the decision will be revised and your benefit will stop. If you don’t agree with this decision because you think you were entitled to an advance claim, you can ask for a reconsideration of the decision.

You now have limited capability for work

If the DWP decides to treat you as having limited capability for work, they can change the decision by supersession. For example, you can be treated as having limited capability because work would be a substantial risk to your health. A supersession decision changes the decision from the date the change is made or when you tell the DWP.

There is new medical evidence

If you've made a claim for contributory ESA, the decision maker can change the decision by supersession if they receive medical evidence from a healthcare professional or approved person. A supersession decision changes the decision from the date the change is made or when you tell the DWP.

You can't appeal against the decision

You may be told this a decision that you can't appeal against. For example, you can't appeal against a decision to suspend payment of your benefit if the DWP are looking at your claim to see if you entitled to it.

If you can't appeal, you may still be able to ask for a revision of the decision.

You've been paid or credited with national insurance contributions

You can be refused contributory ESA or contributory JSA or paid a lower amount if you haven't paid the right amount of national insurance contributions. However if you later pay the contributions or are credited with contributions you should have been paid, the decision can be changed by supersession.

You've committed a benefit offence

Your benefit may have been reduced because you have been convicted of a benefit offence. This decision can be revised if the conviction is quashed or set aside by a Court. You will be backdated any money you're owed from the date of the original decision.

If you agreed to pay a penalty instead of being prosecuted and you later withdraw this agreement, the decision maker will have to repay you all benefit that has been taken to pay the penalty. The decision maker will then decide whether to prosecute you for a benefit offence.

You’ve made a new claim for contributory ESA

If your contributory ESA claim stopped but you make a new claim within 12 weeks, the new claim is linked back to the first claim. The decision to stop your benefit can be revised.

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