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‘My Employment and Support Allowance has ended - help!’
> ‘I've been found fit for work and my ESA has ended’

If Universal Credit has been introduced where you live, some of the information in this set of pages may not apply to you (although in practice many of the things, including the Work Capability Assessment itself, are the same. For an introduction to Universal Credit, click here

(Click here if you want to go straight to your further options)

Here’s the scenario: a letter arrives from the Jobcentre Plus telling you that you do not have a limited capability for work and your Employment and Support Allowance will be stopping. Maybe you’ve been on the sick for years without any problems, maybe you’ve only recently started to get this benefit, or maybe you’ve had this happen to you many times before. Whichever of these applies to you, you are probably not feeling very happy right now.

The good news is that you have the right to challenge this decision.

The bad news is that even if you are sure that you are not fit for work, and your GP agrees, the way the rules are written means that there may be no way that your challenge can succeed. I’ll now tell you why…

icon-key1.jpgThe Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is not about whether you can do the kind of job you used to do. It is not even about whether you can do any job, in fact. It is about whether your difficulties fit the rules the government has drawn up. Unfair, possibly, but true.

It doesn’t help that in the past the Jobcentre Plus agreed that you were not fit for work. This is because:
  1. They always work on the basis that you might have got better
  2. They never assume that the previous (helpful) decision was correct
  3. They keep making the rules tighter, so that even if you fitted the rules in the past you might not fit them now

Sounds harsh? Well, yes it does. And it is harsh. Especially if you have the sort of medical condition that doesn’t fit their rules, or if, say, you’re used to doing manual work and aren’t experienced at anything else, or if you’ve got a degenerative condition that just doesn’t get better, but still get told that you are now fit for work when you weren’t before. But that’s the way it is, I’m afraid…

Now choose one of the following options: