ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template

In this article, we discuss what an ESA mandatory reconsideration is. We also attached an example of an ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template for those who want to challenge a DWP decision but don’t know where to start. 

ESA Mandatory Reconsideration

ESA mandatory reconsideration is a process by which the decision related to your benefit claim is looked at again, usually by a different decision-maker from the Department for Work and Pension (DWP). 

You can challenge most decisions made by DWP about your ESA including not getting ESA, being put in the work-related activity group and not the support group, or getting a sanction.

How to apply for ESA Mandatory Reconsideration

If you want to apply for a mandatory reconsideration for ESA, it is best to do this in writing, so that you can prove that you have done this within the correct time period, and you have a record of what you say.  

You have a month from the date on your original decision letter to apply for a mandatory reconsideration.

You will not be given longer than a month unless specific circumstances, such as a bereavement, Otherwise, the DWP has a legal right to reject your request for reconsideration. 

ESA Mandatory Reconsideration Form

When you fill the ESA mandatory reconsideration form, you will need to complete the form including your details in section 1 and whether you have a representative at section 3 (if not at this stage leave it blank). 

You will then be asked in section 4 what benefit you wish to be reconsidered.

In this case, it will be Employment Support Allowance and the date of the decision is on the top of the DWP decision letter. 

You will then need to complete the box in section 6 asking for reasons why you disagree with the decision.

Below are some examples of what to write in this section. 

You can add more specific details if you wish. 

Example 1:

I wish to appeal against the decision that I do not meet the criteria for the support group.

I consider that the decision-maker did not take full account of the severity of my condition or the way that it affects my everyday activities and bodily functions. 

And the substantial risk that my illness/ disabilities cause. (You can give more specific details)

 Example 2:

I wish to appeal against the decision to only put me in the work-related activity group of ESA.

I feel that I would be putting myself and others at risk and this has not been considered. 

At section 8 you sign and date the form.

At section 9 it confirms whether you will or will not be sending further medical evidence (eg doctor or consultant report or medical records) with the reconsideration form.

If you already have supporting medical evidence ring the relevant wording and send it with the form.

If you have to ask for supporting medical evidence which will be supplied at a later date you can ring the ‘I will not’ wording to prevent the mandatory reconsideration being delayed.

You will still be able to submit this later at an appeal.

ESA Mandatory Reconsideration Letter template

The first step on the road to a successful challenge of an ESA decision is a mandatory reconsideration request. 

Whilst, in theory, you can request a mandatory reconsideration by telephone, we would always advise making the request in writing – even if you have already done so by telephone. 

This is because there are an increasing number of examples of the DWP failing to keep any record of verbal requests for a mandatory reconsideration. 

There are also an increasing number of examples of the DWP failing to respect mandatory reconsideration requests and instead telephoning the claimant and then deciding themselves whether you really want to have the decision looked at again. 

Clearly this is not lawful, but once the one-month time limit has passed it can be a big challenge to get your request accepted.

So, below is an ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template that we hope will help reduce the chance of anything going wrong for you and also make it easier to put things right if the DWP doesn’t follow the rules.

ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template

Name: 

Date of birth: 

NINO: 

Date: 

Dear Sir/Ms, 

I request that you reconsider your decision dated 12 March 2014 finding me capable of work. 

I consider that I provided enough evidence for a finding to be made that I do have limited capability for work [if you think you should be in the support group add the words ‘and limited capability for work-related activity]. 

I do not consider that the decision-maker took full account of the severity of my condition or of the way that it affects my everyday activities and bodily functions.

I do not have any further evidence to add at this stage.

OR 

I wish to add the following evidence: [attach here any useful evidence you can get from a medical health professional, carer, social worker or member of the family]

Important note: should I wish to withdraw this request I will only do so in writing. Under no circumstances will I withdraw this request verbally.

If you speak to me on the telephone about this matter, nothing I say should be construed as a withdrawal unless and until it is confirmed in writing.

Yours faithfully,

Signature

Mandatory Reconsideration timescale 

The DWP does not have a deadline for doing the Mandatory Reconsideration.

Some reconsiderations take 2 weeks, some take several months. 

If you have not received your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, it is a good idea to call the DWP after:

  • 2 weeks to check they have logged your Mandatory Reconsideration 
  • 8 weeks to check how much longer it will take
  • 12 weeks to chase again

MR Phone call

When the DWP are looking again at the decision, they normally phone you to talk about it.

If they can’t get through to you, they usually try a few times. 

When the DWP speaks to you, you can tell them if there is something else that they should take into account, or if you have documents that you think they need to see.

Sending documents can make it take even longer to get a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.

If you disagree with the ESA mandatory reconsideration decision

If the DWP doesn’t change its decision, you can appeal the decision to an independent tribunal.

You will need to complete form SSCS1 and send it to the address given on the form accompanied by a copy of the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.

Again, you will have a one-month deadline and you will have to request an appeal directly with Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) instead of with the DWP. 

Your ESA won’t be paid during your appeal if you claimed another benefit during the reconsideration.

Instead, you’ll stay on the other benefit unless you withdraw your claim for it. Then you can contact the DWP and ask them to pay you ESA instead.

You won’t need to start a new claim for ESA. You can always stay on the other benefit if you decide to.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Conclusions 

In this article, we discussed what an ESA mandatory reconsideration is.

We also attached an example of an ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template for those who want to challenge a DWP decision but don’t know where to start. 

ESA mandatory reconsideration is a process by which the decision related to your benefit claim is looked at again, usually by a different decision-maker from the Department for Work and Pension (DWP). 

You can challenge most decisions made by DWP about your ESA including not getting ESA, being put in the work-related activity group and not the support group, or getting a sanction.

Please feel free to leave a comment or share your experience with claiming ESA, in the comments section below. 

FAQ about ESA mandatory reconsideration letter template

How do I write an ESA mandatory reconsideration letter?

In your ESA mandatory reconsideration letter, you should write and give the DWP more information about those specific points where you disagree with them.

Also, make sure to get more medical evidence that covers these points.

How long does mandatory reconsideration ESA take?

A mandatory reconsideration for ESA can take as little as 14 days in simple cases, but can also take much longer.

The DWP doesn’t have a precise timeline for taking a decision for your ESA claim. 

What happens after a mandatory reconsideration?

After a mandatory reconsideration, if the DWP changes its decision, you will receive your ESA payments.

If the DWP has not changed its decision, you can appeal to a First-Tier tribunal. 

Do I still get ESA while appealing?

You won’t be paid ESA during your appeal if you claimed another benefit such as Jobseekers allowance during the reconsideration stage.

You’ll stay on the other benefit unless you withdraw your claim for it and contact the DWP and ask them to pay you ESA instead.

How long does ESA take to make a decision?

It takes up to 19 weeks to make an ESA decision, including the medical assessment which takes approximately 14 weeks. 

How many ESA appeals are successful?

Around 74% of appeals for an Employment and Support Allowance award are successful. 

Recommendations

  1. Employment and Support Allowance: A Guide to ESA for People with a Disability or Long Term Health Condition, Their Families, Carers and Advisors 
  2. Providing Employment Support for People With Long-Term Mental Illness: Choices, Resources, and Practical Strategies
  3. Positive Behavior Supports for Adults with Disabilities in Employment, Community, and Residential Settings
  4. An investigation into errors in Employment and Support Allowance
  5. Guide to Government Benefits: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Insurance, Disability

References

Benefits and Work guide – ESA appeal submissions 

Turn2us.org

leicester.gov.uk

What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]