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Last updated:
18/12/2017

How do I ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration?

What happens to my benefits during mandatory reconsideration?

  1. Overview
  2. What is mandatory reconsideration?
  3. I’m out of time – is there anything I can do?
  4. What happens to my benefits during mandatory reconsideration?
  5. What happens to my benefits after mandatory reconsideration?
  6. Sample letters
  7. Next steps

Will I get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) during my mandatory reconsideration?

This section is quite complex; make sure you read it through carefully to make sure you understand all of your options.

If you are appealing your Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) decision, you will not usually be paid ESA during the mandatory reconsideration.

If the Social Security Agency (SSA) put you in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG)

You will get ESA during mandatory reconsideration if you feel you should have been put in Support group, instead of Work- related Activity Group.

If the SSA say you are fit for work

You will not get any ESA while you are going through mandatory reconsideration.

If your health condition has become a lot worse since the SSA decision or you have a new condition - you can make a fresh claim for ESA and a new work assessment will be carried out.

If you are asking the SSA to reconsider a sanction

If you have been sanctioned, your benefit will be reduced or not paid during mandatory reconsideration. You can ask for a mandatory reconsideration so you can challenge the decision. You can also apply for a hardship payment if you are need money to avoid a crisis or you are suffering financially.

I have been though mandatory reconsideration before, will I get ESA?

You may not get ESA during mandatory reconsideration if you have made a new claim since a failed mandatory reconsideration unless the SSA feel your health has deteriorated significantly.

What can I do if my ESA stops during mandatory reconsideration?

You may be able to claim other benefits while you are waiting for your mandatory reconsideration decision.

JobSeekers Allowance

You may be able to claim Job Seekers Allowance but you will need to meet the usual rules for JSA. You can ask the Social Security Agency to take your mental and physical health into consideration in terms of both work related activities and accepting work. 

If you claimed Contributory Based Employment and Support Allowance you may be able to claim Contributory Based Job Seekers Allowance instead.

Income Support

If you are a carer or have a child under 5 you could claim Income Support instead. You won't have to look for work and sign on at the Jobs and Benefits Office.

Universal Credit

This is a new benefit which is being rolled out in stages in different areas. If you live in an area where the Universal Credit has been rolled out, you may be asked by the Social Security Agency to claim it, instead of JSA.

If you are finding it difficult to meet the conditions of Universal Credit (UC) or Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) and you claim for UC or JSA, Social Security Agency will say that you need to:

  • Actively look for work, and
  • Be available to take a job if you are offered one.

If you feel that you cannot meet these conditions, you could ask Jobs and Benefits Office to change them and they call this 'easing conditionality'. To persuade JBO to do this, tell them how your mental health condition affects how you can look for work. It is important that you keep getting notes from your GP that say you are not able to work and make sure that you send these to the SSA while you are going through mandatory reconsideration. 

 

Jim's Story

Jim applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but the Social Security Agency (SSA) found him fit for work. He did not agree with this decision so he decided to go through mandatory reconsideration. He applied for Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) because he could not claim ESA during mandatory reconsideration.

Jim took medication for his mental health problems. His medication made him feel drowsy and sick in the mornings. Jim continued to get notes from his GP saying that he was not able to work. The note also explained the effect his medication had on him in the mornings.

They looked at this information when setting his conditions for JSA. They agreed that the side effects of Jim's medication would make looking for work difficult. As a result, they changed the conditions for his JSA so that he would only have to look for part-time work where the job started in the afternoon.

Will I get Jobseekers Allowance during my reconsideration?

If you are appealing a JSA decision, you will not usually get any payments during a reconsideration and appeal period.

Will I get PIP during my reconsideration and appeal?

You will not usually get any payments during a reconsideration and appeal of a PIP decision. 

If you are moving from DLA to PIP you will continue to get DLA for 4 weeks following the decision. If you lose your DLA mobility component and you are on the Motability scheme you may be eligible for the transitional support package. Find out more on the Motability website. 

Will I get Universal Credit (UC) payments during my reconsideration?

If you are appealing a UC decision, this depends on which element of UC you are challenging. If you are challenging a decision about having limited capability for work, you can make a claim for the standard allowance of UC and you should ask for easements of the conditions about looking for work.

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is mandatory reconsideration?
  3. I’m out of time – is there anything I can do?
  4. What happens to my benefits during mandatory reconsideration?
  5. What happens to my benefits after mandatory reconsideration?
  6. Sample letters
  7. Next steps
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