Author Topic: What is ESA and how does it work?  (Read 3550 times)

Sunshine Meadows

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What is ESA and how does it work?
« on: 10 Feb 2012 10:35AM »

About Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance - introduction

ESA provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who are able to work.

ESA offers you personalised support and financial help, so that you can do appropriate work, if you are able to.

It gives you access to a specially trained personal adviser and a wide range of further services including employment, training and condition management support. This is to help you manage and cope with your illness or disability at work.

ESA involves a medical assessment called the Work Capability Assessment. This assesses what you can do, rather than what you cannot, and identifies the health-related support you might need.

Most people claiming ESA will be expected to take steps to prepare for work. This includes attending work-focused interviews with their personal adviser.  (commonly known as being in the ESA 'work-related activity group')

Under ESA rules, if you have an illness or disability that severely affects your ability to work, you will get increased financial support. You will not be expected to prepare for a return to work. You can volunteer to do so at any point if you want to.  (commonly known as being in the ESA 'support group')

How it works

For new claims, ESA consists of two phases:

    the assessment phase
    the main phase

The assessment phase

The assessment phase lasts for the first 13 weeks of your claim. This is while a decision is made on your capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment. During this phase, ESA is paid at a basic rate.

The main phase

The main phase starts from week 14 of your claim if the Work Capability Assessment shows that your illness or disability does limit your ability to work. During this phase, an additional amount (called a component) is paid on top of the basic rate

There are two groups within the main phase:

Work-Related Activity Group

If you are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group, you will be expected to take part in work-focused interviews with your personal adviser. You will get support to help you prepare for suitable work.

In return, you will receive a work-related activity component in addition to your basic rate.

Customers are not required to attend the Work-Focused Interview (WFI) until it’s been confirmed that they’ve been placed in the Work-Related Activity Group.

Support Group

If your illness or disability has a severe effect on your ability to work, you won't be expected to work. But, you can work on a voluntary basis if you want to.

You will receive a support component in addition to your basic rate.

(edited for additions and formatting - KK)
« Last Edit: 05 Sep 2012 01:51PM by SunshineMeadows »