Let’s see how you got to where you are…
If you have only recently started to get Employment and Support Allowance the rules require you to be assessed by them in the first thirteen weeks. Up until then they are - basically - taking your word for it (and the word of your GP) that you are not fit for work.
If you have been on Employment and Support Allowance for a while they will normally re-assess you about once a year.
Either way the first thing that happened was probably that the Jobcentre Plus sent you a questionnaire, called an ESA50, which you completed and returned (if you didn’t complete and return this, or they say you didn’t, you will be 'treated' as not having a limited capability for work, and your Employment and Support Allowance will stop anyway).
When they got your questionnaire back, they called you to attend a medical at an Maximus examination centre (or, in the past, ATOS). As I already know you were refused, I am guessing this didn’t go very well…
The medical report was then sent to the Jobcentre Plus for a decision maker to consider, together with any other evidence they had, like your answers in the ESA50 form.
We already know they refused you, but let’s see what decisions they could have made
The decision maker has three options when deciding your capability for work: The Jobcentre Plus then has three options:
- It can decide that you are fit for work (they call this ‘not having a limited capability for work’. This happens to a lot of people, including people who are pretty sure in their own minds that they are not fit for work.
- It can agree with you that are not fit for work (they call this ‘having a limited capability for work’). However it also thinks that, with help, you may well be able to work in the future. This is called being put in the work related activity group.
- It can agree with you that you are not fit for work (again, they call this ‘having a limited capability for work’). It also thinks that there is no realistic chance of you being able to work in the future, even with help. This is called being put in the support group.
Sadly they applied the first of these to you.
|It is not easy to be put into the support group. Many people, even if they are quite ill or disabled, will be put in the work-related activity group. If you win your appeal you are likely to be put in this group, not the support group. If the Jobcentre Plus decided that you are entitled to Employment and Support Allowance and put you in the work-related activity group but you are not happy about this and and want to appeal, click here.|
- ‘Please explain how the Work Capability Assessment rules work’
- ‘I need to work out whether my appeal has a reasonable chance of succeeding’
- ‘I want to know about the appeal process (and how to survive while the appeal is going on)’
- ‘I want know about preparing for and attending the appeal hearing’
- ‘I want to know what my options are if my appeal fails’
- ‘What should I do if my appeal doesn’t have a reasonable chance of succeeding?’