How Long After ESA Assessment For Decision (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least 8 weeks

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issues an assessment that tests your capability in work, once you claim ESA, which stands for Employment and Support Allowance. This assessment is to observe and assess how your health condition or disability impacts your daily life and everyday activities. The ESA assessment will usually be taken by a health professional.

The DWP is a department under the British Government. This department takes care of policies regarding child maintenance, pensions, and welfare. It is the largest department for public service in the UK. It is the one that issues a number of benefits to working-age citizens, and those with disabilities or health conditions.

How Long After ESA Assessment For Decision?

ObjectiveAnswer
Time taken for decision after ESA AssessmentAt least 8 weeks
Why is work capability assessment conducted?To assess if your work is affected in any way by your disability or health complication
Who conducts the work capability assessment?Healthcare professional

After you have made a claim for ESA, a work capability assessment will be issued for you to go through, in order to check your eligibility and figure out which group you will be assigned to.

By undergoing the work capability assessment, the healthcare professional will be able to assess whether your work is affected by your health condition or disability and if it is, then by how much. After this, you’ll receive a questionnaire named ‘Capability for work’. You will be required to fill it out and return the form to the Health Assessment Advisory Service.

Work capability assessments might be conducted either over the phone through a video call, or in-person with face-to-face interaction. Before this, the healthcare professional in charge of your assessment usually conducts a document-based check. Here, they browse through and review the documents submitted to the DWP, and decide whether there is enough information to make a decision right then and there. If there isn’t enough data about your claim for ESA and why you need it, then the healthcare professional will ask to have an in-person assessment, to make a proper decision.

RECOMMENDED
How Long Does It Take To Get Tax Return (And Why)?

During the medical assessment, the healthcare professional will inquire you about medical history, and the ways that it might affect your daily activities. In order to help the healthcare professional understand better for an accurate report, you may even submit extra documents and medical data that might help your case.

If necessary, they might even conduct a physical assessment, to check the condition’s severity in person. This is not mandatory though.

After the assessment takes place, the decision will be sent to you through a letter usually within 8 weeks. If it takes more time than that, then you may reach out to the DWP and track the status of your results. 8 weeks are just the minimum duration, and it usually takes much more than that, depending on the time.

Why Does It Take That Long For Decision After ESA Assessment?

The assessment and the submitted documents will have provided all the necessary information that is required by the DWP to make a decision on your claim for ESA. It takes that long to make a decision because the healthcare professional must carefully evaluate all the data that is obtained and must decide which group of ESA you fit into if you are eligible.

In addition, they must write up an assessment report that contains their justification for putting you in a certain group for ESA, and other choices. Then they will have to send their report to the DWP, where it will be reviewed. Then the DWP makes the decision with respect to your benefits, allowance, and credits, and only then will it be sent to you through a letter. Only then are you will be approved for ESA.

RECOMMENDED
How Long Does The IRS Take To Process A Return (And Why)?

Note that the healthcare professional doesn’t make the decision, they merely analyze your condition and how it affects your daily life. Only the DWP is in charge of making the decision and deciding your benefits.

There are two groups that will be put into after you receive your decision. The first one is known as the support group and the second one is called the work-related group. The latter is targeted at those whose ability to work is limited by your illness to a degree, but there are ways to improve your condition. You might be requested to attend a work-focused interview, and take part in activities that are related to work, in order to improve your state for the future.

If you are in the support group, then the DWP has acknowledged that you may not be able to work completely and there is very little chance that you can increase your probability to find work.

You will be receiving ESA after your decision has been made.

Conclusion

This we can understand that it can take several weeks or months to get a decision after you take part in the ESA assessment. Some may take 8 weeks, some may take up to 19 weeks. This is just an average, that varies depending on the timing and assessment.

You will receive your decision after the ESA assessment through a letter. After this, if you are decided as being eligible for ESA, then you will be assigned into one of the two groups.

If you are put in the support group, then your benefits will be ongoing. But if you are in the work-related activity group, you will only receive the benefits for up to 12 months.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0951832095000476
  2. https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN01420/SN01420.pdf
  3. https://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/28222/