Disabilled Allowance

What is the ESA time limit?
If you receive contributory ESA and are placed in the ‘work-related activity group’, your contributory ESA is now time limited.

Note – ‘contributory ESA’ is sometimes called ‘contribution-based ESA’. These are the same thing.

What does this mean?
This means that your contributory ESA is payable for only 52 weeks. This can be in one go, or in several spells of ‘limited capability for work’, where each period is separated by no more than 12 weeks.

You might be able to claim income-related ESA if your contributory ESA is terminated. Income-related ESA is not time limited. But, depending on your circumstances, this payment might be less than you get at the moment.

If you're in the ESA ‘support group’, your contributory ESA is not time limited.

This affects me – what can I do?
If you have already had a letter from the DWP about this, you should contact them using the details they have supplied.

If not, then you don't need to do anything immediately, but you may choose to do so.

There are several possible outcomes if your contributory ESA is time limited:

Move to the support group
If you feel you should be in the support group (where contributory ESA is not time limited) rather than the work-related activity group, you can ask to be re-assessed by contacting the office that normally deals with your benefit (here is no time limit on payments for the support group).

You might decide to do this if your MS affects you more now than when you were assessed, or if you think you were put in the wrong group to start with.

However, there are a few things to consider before asking for a re-assessment, including the fact that a re-assessment might conclude you are not eligible for ESA at all, and this could affect current payments as well as future ESA claims. Contact a local advice agency for support in making this decision.

Move to income-related ESA
If you currently get only contributory ESA, you can be assessed...