The dreaded ESA medical

Hello everyone after claiming ESA at assesment rate for the past number of months i have today received my letter informing me of my ESA medical which will take place next month.

I originally moved onto ESA after i whent off sick with depression and anxiety in work and i then resigned on ill health grounds to which my income now comes from ESA. My question now though is what happens if i fail this medical now?. Am i moved to JSA and surely i wouldnt face sanctions on money due to the nature of my resignment on ill health grounds surely?. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks everyone.


  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
    I am addressing only the official position.
    If you are found fit for ESA, you can then appeal this decision. You would not be paid until you have completed a mandatory reconsideration step, and then sent the details of this reconsideration to the tribunal.
    At this point, you would be paid (unless you were on contributory ESA and had spent a total of 52 weeks in the work-related and assessment groups) the assessment rate until the appeal.
    If you win the appeal, you go back onto ESA.

    You could alternately claim JSA/UC.
    JSA/UC cannot decide without you failing to complete an action that you are unfit.
    If you fail to complete one of the various requirements - even perhaps after your claimant commitment is modified because of a disability - you would be sanctioned, up to and including not getting any benefit for extended periods.

    In principle, after you have signed onto UC/JSA - you can after the claim is processed, claim for 13 weeks 'extended sickness' if your doctor is willing to sign you off.

    However, once that period runs out, you would not be eligible for UC/JSA, and would have to claim ESA.

    You would not be eligible for payment at all during the assessment period - unless you are initially found to have a significantly worsened condition.
    Only if you pass the next WCA would ESA come back into payment. (backdated to the time you first claimed).
  • pmlindyloo
    pmlindyloo Posts: 13,051 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    if you do 'fail' your assessment you can do a mandatory reconsideration where they have to look at their decision again. During this time you can claim JSA. You would not be sanctioned on transferring from ESA to JSA.

    Once the mandatory reconsideration has been done then you can go to appeal during which time you can go back on the assessment rate of ESA until your appeal is heard.
  • RyanCarter
    RyanCarter Posts: 16 Forumite
    Thank you Rodger and pmlindyloo. I understand. I was just worried that if i 'fail' ESA medical they would put me onto JSA with JSA sanctioning me then due to my resigning from my job.. This would not be the case?..
  • rogerblack
    rogerblack Posts: 9,446 Forumite
    If you resigned while you were on ESA, then there is no issue with a subsequent JSA claim.
    If you are capable of claiming JSA, and either have improved, or believe you want to try work - you do not have to appeal the ESA judgement.

    The finding of ESA that you are fit is as of the date of the decision.
    It will not - except in very unusual cases (fraud) affect past entitlement.
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