ESA – jargon explained

I have copied and pasted the reply from the DWP Ministerial team. I thought this would be useful information for those who have been timed out of Contribution ESA whilst in the Work Related Activity Group but who are then successful at an appeal and are put into the support group.

It essentially means that you will be put into the same position you would have been had the Assessors and Decision Makers took into account all of your personal circumstances and care needs.

I know that this may only help a few people but it’s better than none!

Keep up the fight; you’re not chronically sick or disabled for fun & I know more than 99% of those claiming ESA, DLA, PIP etc are doing so because they have absolutely no other choice.

Remember also in the support group you are allowed to undertake permitted work without it affecting your benefit (up to a certain earnings level).

If in the support group & receiving contribution based benefit then the earnings of your spouse/partner are not taken into consideration. This will only become relevant if you have to claim Income based/means tested benefits.

I have put it into words we all understand rather than the DWP Language only understood by the Sir Humphrey types of this world!

**(Watch ‘Yes Minister’ on you tube or on a satellite channel; it is very true to what goes on in the Civil Service etc; a more sedate version of ‘The Thick If It’ – both equally worth watching)**

Let me know if this is useful….. Thanks 🙂
my website

Ministerial Correspondence
Caxton House
Tothill Street

Our Ref: TO/14/08849

27 May 2014

Ms Star Etheridge

Dear Ms Etheridge

Thank you for your recent correspondence, raising issues arising from Government policies which are the responsibility of this Department. Government Ministers receive a large volume of correspondence and they are unable to reply personally on every occasion. We have been asked to respond.

When an appeal is heard by the tribunal changing the decision originally given, this reverses the decision held on the Department’s system (known as a supercession). The revised decision goes into effect and the period for review by a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is changed on the system to the period decided by the tribunal. Since the time from the WCA decision to the appeal tribunal outcome is often longer than a year, this often results in an immediate re-referral for a WCA.

For example- a WCA decision is made on 10 January 2012. The claimant appeals, but their appeal is not heard by the tribunal until 10 December 2013. The tribunal decides a review period of two years but, as almost two years has elapsed, the case is put through for immediate referral for a WCA.

As the tribunal’s decision is revising the original decision, the review period therefore goes back to the date of the original decision.

Yours sincerely

Ministerial Correspondence Team



2 thoughts on “ESA – jargon explained

  1. Hi Star, I was transferred to ESA from Incapacity when it changed and placed in a work support group without having any medical, they say I’m only entitled to £15 a week as my wife earns £106 part time? Unlike ‘rent’ we can’t claim the “£100 mortgage a month” that my wife has to lay out from this.
    How does this “If in the support group & receiving contribution based benefit then the earnings of your spouse/partner are not taken into consideration.” work? I have applied many times for more, as we struggle from month to month, but to no avail.



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