What is the employment and support allowance work-related activity group?
The ESA work-related activity group is for claimants who the DWP consider will be capable of work at some time in the future and who they consider are capable of taking steps immediately towards moving into work (work-related activities).
However, the law explicitly states that work-related activities must not require claimants to 'apply for a job or undertake work, whether as an employee or otherwise'.
What are the main differences between the work-related activity group and the support group?
The major differences are that:
- ESA work-related activity group members have to attend work-focused interviews. As of March 2020, all these interviews were suspended for a period of at least 3 months as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. They may have to undertake work-related activities, such as training or condition management programmes, but support group members do not;
- ESA work-related activity group members get less money because the work-related activity component is paid at a lower rate than the support component. Claimants whose claim started from 3rd April 2017 do not receive a work-related activity component at all, they remain on the same rate as the assessment group.
- the one year limit on claiming contributory ESA, applies to members of the work-related activity group, but not to members of the support group.
How do you qualify for the employment and support allowance work-related activity group?
Most claimants who qualify for the work-related activity group do so because they have scored enough points in the limited capability for work assessment. Others qualify because they are exempt or because they are covered by the exceptional circumstances rules, such as there being a danger to themselves or to other people if they were not placed in the work-related activity group.