Benefit advice

Published on November 19th, 2013

To claim this is normally a phone call . Claim form is ESA1. ESA Contribution (ESA ©) based is always the first route.

The first phase is normally a 13 week period called the assessment period. During these 13 weeks the customer is accepted as having a limited capability for work (LCW).

During this time they will be sent a form ESA50 which asked them about their condition/incapacity &how it affects them. Then they will need to go for a work capability assessment. (WCA) (Sometimes information from medics can prevent this)! Assessment Phase (LCW) rate of benefit is £71.70 (cont. or income based).

After the WCA – customers will either be placed in the in work related activity group (WRAG) or Support Group.

Most customers in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) are required to engage in mandatory interviews at the jobcentre. They will discuss what type of work they can do, what support they need & when it’s reasonable to move to JSA. Etc.

Claimants in the Support Group are still subject to periodical WCAs. This is to check if medical conditions have improved with treatment, or declined etc. Depending on the WCA outcome, customers in the Support Group may be removed from that group and placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG), and vice versa.

When in the support group they do not have to participate in work related activity as they do in the WRAG but can do so on a voluntary basis.

Rates of benefit after the assessment phase change to £71.70 + £28.45 if in the WRAG group & £71.70 + £34.80 if in the support group (both cont. and Income based).

Main difference between cont. & income based is that if in the WRAG group cont. based is restricted to 12 months. No restriction if in support group.

Also if income based is in payment (DLA/PIP is disregarded) but all other income like tax credits etc. are taken into account.

But, there is a possibility of getting another £59 per week if Severe Disability Premium (SDP) is due.
This would be paid if the customer is receiving middle or higher rate of DLA Care Component or Standard or Enhanced Daily Living Component of PIP & they live alone & no-one receives Carer’s Allowance (CA) for looking after them.