The minister for Employment, Esther McVey, has confirmed that, provided they have the required fit notes, claimants can claim back any ESA lost during the mandatory reconsideration when their appeal is successfully lodged, they don’t have to wait for a successful appeal.
In a written response to questions, McVey says:
“ESA is not payable while a decision that a claimant does not have limited capability for work (following a work capability assessment) is being reconsidered. During this period, the claimant may choose to claim an alternative income replacement benefit such as jobseeker's allowance or income support. However, they must satisfy the entitlement criteria.
"Following the completion of mandatory reconsideration of the decision, if the claimant subsequently appeals then ESA may be paid at the assessment phase rate pending the appeal being heard. Provided medical evidence is provided, this payment can cover the period while reconsideration was carried out but entitlement cannot be assessed until the claimant has lodged an appeal.”