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Last updated:
12/12/2017

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 ensure you understand all of your options.

If the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) put you in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) and you want to move into the support group. You will get ESA during mandatory reconsideration.

If you are appealing your ESA decision because the DWP say you are fit for work. You will not get any ESA while you are going through mandatory reconsideration. However, if you are appealing against a decision that you have failed the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) and you have submitted a medical certificate, you will be treated as having limited capability for work whilst awaiting mandatory reconsideration or appeal.

If you are asking the DWP 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 need money to avoid a crisis or if you are suffering financially.

To claim a hardship payment contact Job Centre Plus or speak to your Job Centre.

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 DWP 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.

If the DWP say you are fit for work, you will not get any ESA while you are going through mandatory reconsideration. You can claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA ) during the mandatory reconsideration process and JSA will be paid at the same rate as the ESA assessment rate, which is £73.10.

In some areas, you will be asked to claim Universal Credit (UC)  instead – this depends on whether UC has been rolled out in your area.

If you are asking the DWP to reconsider a sanction, your benefit will be reduced or not paid during mandatory reconsideration. You can apply for a hardship payment if you need money to avoid a crisis or suffering.

If you have been through mandatory reconsideration before, you will not get ESA during the process unless the DWP feel your health has deteriorated significantly.

If you made a claim for contribution-based ESA, you can make a claim for contribution-based JSA but to get JSA, you need to meet the conditions that Jobcentre Plus set you. If you are in a Universal Credit ‘Full Service Area’ Contributory Job Seekers Allowance will be called ‘New Style’ Job Seekers Allowance instead. You should speak to a welfare benefits adviser if this is your situation as this can be complex.

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, Jobcentre Plus 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 Jobcentre Plus to change them and they call this ‘easing conditionality’. To persuade Jobcentre Plus 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 DWP while you are going through mandatory reconsideration.

Jim's Story

Jim applied for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) but the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) 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.

Jobcentre Plus 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 (JSA) 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. There are more details of this 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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