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    Thread: How long will I be in the support group of ESA

    1. #1
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      Default How long will I be in the support group of ESA

      hey all,

      I was put in the support group of ESA in Oct 2010, does anyone know how long it typically last for ?

      Im on DLA, Ive got that for 5 years.

      Also, can I work in the support group as long as its less than 16 hours or does it have to be voluntary work?

      Im tempted to go back to work but Im very wary that I'll relapse so I dont want to come off my health benefits if I have to.

      I cant cope with full time work due to my illness so looking for part time work. At the moment Im getting my rent paid for me and my health benefit so Im in a good position at the moment but I do want to get back to work if I can, but the system makes it hard for you to do so. It was so hard getting the benefits in the first place I dont want to be back to square one again.

      thanks v. much

    2. #2
      Administrator calypso's Avatar
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      Kap, I don't know whaat a support group is? I am on ESA and have DLA too. As I understand it, you can work for so many hours a week, and only earn less than I think, 93/week. I may be totally wrong on the amount so check it out. I am in the same position as you and know how hard all this is to juggle. They don't make it easy do they?
      "I am She who e're the world was formed, was Rhea, Binah Ge. I am the soundless, boundless bitter sea from whom life welled eternally. Isis in heaven, on Earth Persephone, Levanah of the waves and Hecate. All these am I and all these are seen in me." Dion Fortune.

    3. #3
      Senior Member coffee's Avatar
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      How long will you be in the support group for - possibly until your next review (which can be any time - although I think on average its about 6 months- 1 yr for support group) possibly longer if you are found to meet support group criteria again. If you are not found to meet the criteria you will either be put in the WRAG (work related activities group) where you will be asked to attend work focused interviews or undertake work related activities (interview skills/cv writing etc) or possibly you will be found fit for work. Unfortunately, unlike DLA, ESA do not give a set review dates - you just find the dreaded ATOS envelope on your door step However requesting a copy of your previous medical may give you an indication of the time scale that the ATOS dr has recommended for reassessment.

      Regarding the working - you need to inform the DWP of any paid work you are doing and I would check with them that what you are doing is allowed under permitted work rules -

      (taken from Direct gov)
      The Permitted Work rules

      Under the Permitted Work rules you can:

      -work for less than 16 hours a week on average, with earnings up to 95.00 a week for 52 weeks
      - work for less than 16 hours a week, on average, with earnings up to 95.00 a week if you are in the Support Group of the main phase of Employment and Support Allowance
      - work and earn up to 20 a week, at any time, for as long as you are receiving Employment and Support Allowance
      - do Supported Permitted Work and earn up to 95.00 a week for as long as you are receiving Employment and Support Allowance, provided you continue to satisfy the Supported Permitted Work criteria

      However, you need to be aware that by undertaking any paid or voluntary work on a regular basis when you come for an assessment they may see this as you being fit for work and ready to be moved on to job seekers allowance. You will also find that any earnings you may will affect the amount of benefit you get.

      There are supposed to be linking rules in place so that you can try working and if you are unable to do it you will be fast tracked back onto the same level of ESA - however in practice this rule is often ignored by the DWP and they will try to restart the assessment process from the beginning again.

      I would recommend getting advice from a welfare rights advisor prior to looking for work as each case is individual and they will have a better and more indepth understanding of the way the system works than I do. You can try places like the Citizens Advice Bureau or MIND for people like this - your CMHT may also be able to provide you with constant details.

      Sorry I can;t be more helpful - the whole thing is a mine feild and individual advice is normally the way to go for most of these things.
      "So often we dwell on the things that seem impossible rather than on the things that are possible.
      So often we are depressed by what remains to be done and forget to be thankful for all that has been done."
      Thanks dib4uk gave thanks for this post

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