Hi everyone I’m currently claiming ESA and am in the support group. I’m thinking of going back to work but still not sure if ill manage or not but I have to try. What I want to know is if it doesn’t work out at work and I have to go back on sick, once my benefits have stopped can I go straight back on them as they are or would I have to go through the assessment phase of ESA again (really dont want to have to go through that again) Thanks Mini x

Hi Mini, I admire your pluck to want to give work a try again.

But be careful, as I imagine it could become very difficult to get back on to esa again.

I dont know what would happen, just would think it may be a minefield.

Hopefully somone else will give the right answer.

Wendells (Jane) is usually good at these types of queries.

Good luck if you do return to work.

luv Pollx

Thanks Poll, it’s just such a struggle financially. I know everyone’s in the sane boat. Mini x


There is permitted work that you can do while claiming ESA. I think its something like 16 hours a week, but not entirely sure what the rules are now, or whether it is still running. Perhaps you could try googling permitted work while on ESA.

Good luck


Just a thought coz I really don’t know…but if you’ve been put in the support group, is that not saying that you are not fit for work, so if you then say that you are and return, might it not raise some awkward questions ?

I don’t know mrs H. I never had a medical for esa was just put automatically in the support group but I am still employed even though I’ve been on sick for over a year but they were made aware of this when I completed forms? There was no exaggeration on the forms regarding my symptoms. I’m certainly not ‘better’ and wont ever be shut of ms so I don’t know? Mini x

No, I don’t know either. It’s got me stumped !! Coz, I guess the thing is with MS, that in relapse some people are unfit for work but then in remission, they able to return. I guess that’s what they would quantify as “better” ? Surely the DWP have got to take account of that ?

Who knows but if I can’t cope with work I know how stressful and worrying it is when applying for benefits and waiting for decisions and I just can’t put myself through it all again, what a life! Mini x

Hi don’t know if this helps but when it was called incapacity support you had a protected six months after returning to work to see how it went. Why don’t you give them a call on 08000556688.

Helen x

If you are in the Support group you are allowed to do what is called supported permitted work, this means that you have to have some one from an organisation who checks up on you, even it is only a monthly phone call. You are only allowed to 15 hours as any thing more than 16 hours is considered full time for the purposes of benefits. You aren’t allowed to earn more than the minimum wage for the 15 hours BUT if you work less hours for more money, as long as doesn’t exceed the amount 15 hours at the national minimum wage then you should be okay.

Also the work that you are proposing can’t go against what you are claiming ESA for (goes without saying!). If you were in the WRAG then are only allowed to this for 50 or 52 weeks (amount of weeks escapes me!), if you do more then they will assess you as fit for work. HTH


Thanks so much Helen and Andy x