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Getting your ESA decision after an assessment

This advice applies to 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

Coronavirus - if you’re waiting for a medical assessment

The government has postponed all face-to-face medical assessments at the moment.

You’ll keep getting ESA until you have a medical assessment. The amount you get won’t change.

The DWP will try to assess you without seeing you face to face if either:

  • you’ve already been given an assessment date
  • you tell the DWP your condition has got worse

It’s important to send your medical evidence as soon as possible. The DWP will try to assess you by looking at your medical evidence and talking to you over the phone.

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
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Calls are free from mobiles and landlines.

You’ll keep getting ESA.

You don’t have to get any more fit notes from your GP.

You’ll have to do activity that improves your chances of finding work, known as ‘work-related activity’ – check what work-related activity you’ll have to do.

If you’re put in the support group

You’ll keep getting ESA.

You don’t have to:

  • get any more fit notes from your GP
  • go to interviews or any other work-related activity

The amount of ESA you get will go up – check how much ESA you’ll get. You’ll start getting the extra money 13 weeks after your claim started.

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.

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