support group for ESA

Hi all hope everyone is feeling ok . Just had a letter from DWP about my claim for ESA and i have been put into the support group i have not been for a assesment or nothig mind you it has been 9 mounths since i aplied for it . Not been able to get hold of them today and i was just wonderig what that means being put into the support group do i need to keep sending in sick notes , how long are you able to stay in that benifit , i know this is a new benefit and dont know if anyone can help. Thank you for any help . Katy

Being put into the ‘Support’ group means the benefit payment is indefinite, rather than expiring after 12 months.

Congrats to you, on this minor success …hopefully it’ll be one thing less to worry about !!


I’m still waiting to hear, after sending my form off in May 2013! xxx

Contribution based benefits (based on NI contributions) usually end after 12 months. If you are in the support group of ESA you continue to be paid based on NI insurance contributions whilever you are eligible. I think this is what Dom meant by indefinite. You are still subject to reviews and reassessments but if you are eligible your payments won’t stop after 12 months as they do in the work related activity group

most support group claimants will expect to be on the benefit for very long periods of time since work is probably out of the question perminantly. Personally I expect to be claiming until I reach retirement age ( if I ever get there as they keep raising it )

you do not need to submit any more sick notes.


Yes it means no more sending in sick notes award is usually around 3 years that’s what my brothers is, I was only diagnosed 2 days ago so need to apply to support group myself you can phone dwp and ask how long the award is.

Hello and thank you everyone for your replies , i managed to speak to them today and they have said the same as you all as i knew they would could have saved myself a phone call and the awful music they play when you on hold . just feeling sad that this is the end of my working life and i realy miss going to work and all that envolves the gossip and just chatting to other people . I know deep down in my heart that i would not be able to work even partime and not let people down . I need to think about doing something with my time and look into some vountery work as i just need to feel useful. Thank you all once again it is so nice to know there is someone here you con type too. Have a good weekend everyone . Katy

Well at least you have an answer now, im not sure why any one with MS would be in the work group, as without being negative MS just gets worse, you dont “get better” so if you are unable to work now, then surely you will be unable to work next year, (unless they develop an amazing drug that can heal us all!!) May i ask what info you sent them when you sent back the medical forms, did you have a letter from any medical profesion or just a sick note and filled in forms, Im at the application stage and feel slightly out of my depth. I also love my job, so can sympathise. I did not even understand the first form i did application on phone and kept having to ask the girl to repeat the questions, or explain them, saying i dont understand about benefits its all alien to me. Have you found out if you still need to send in sick notes, or does that stop? (Gps can sign you off for a max of 3 months, so if you do that would save you going to and from GP monthly!)

I would recommend a piece of cake to “not celebrate” but comfort your self with the sad news that working days are over and relief that you finally have an answer and no what ifs hanging over you! Cake is the answer to all, (along with choc!) And the music!!! i was on hold for 28mins the other day, was on hands free, it was destorted and terrible, even off hands free. so full sympathy there!!


hi i sent all my consultant, ms nurse ,countenance nurse , doc , letters and also i was seen by a health company with work who said i wasn’t able to work anymore in my currant job [ i was a chef but couldn’t stand or move around safely] i took copies of everything including the form they send you just so i could refer back if i needed to , also if it got lost in the system. good luck with it all and hope everything goes well. Katy

Thanks for the info, just to ask (sorry if im a bit slow here) did you send the letters from everyone in with your application, or did you send letters too everyone ie you sent a letter to the doc, ms nurse etc?



just to add to the “letters” part of the discussion

I sent my ESA50 back without any medical evidence. I was waiting for a letter from my consultant but it came too late. The decision (support group) was made purely on the strength of the form that I filled in so don’t worry too much if you find it difficult to get your professionals to provide letters.


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