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ESA Support Group and wanting to work! 7 years 9 months ago #117407


I had my ATOS medical 4 weeks ago and expected to be put in to the WRAG (if any group at all!) as I expressed the desire to do some work but explained that I cannot work full-time and cannot do just any job. I seem to be in the minority as most people seem to want to be in the support group!

Imagine my surprise this morning when I called the DWP to chase the decision to be told it had just been made (after only 4 weeks!) and, I was being put in the Support Group!

Having looked in to it, I will obviously be slightly better off than being in the WRAG and also, there is no time limit on permitted work.

However, I have no idea who to speak to now about wanting to do some work! It seems all geared to advisers being available for those in WRAG but almost appears that they do not expect anyone in the Support Group to do any work?

I know there will be those who will say "think yourself lucky that you are able to do some work" but this is not about that and I do fully appreciate that I am one of the "luckier" ones, although some in my position have no desire to work! I have 2 chronic illnesses and lost my job/career through illness recently which was devastating. I am only 45 and with flexibility around my illnesses I know I will be able to undertake some sort of work.

Is anyone able to point me in the right direction of who to speak about this or guide me in anyway, as I am now in unknown territory!

I wish all of you who are going through the claim/appeals process the best of luck and know I have been extremely fortunate. I have to thank this site too as I read all the information before completing my application and also with regard to the ATOS medical! So many thanks to you all!

Last edit: by . Reason: Tick.

ESA Support Group and wanting to work! 7 years 9 months ago #117413


You have a couple of options.

You can volunteer for Work Related Activity even though you are in the SG, however, you should be aware that once you do this you are managed under the same regime as someone in the WRAG, including the possibility of your benefit being sanctioned if you do not comply. Speak to your local JC+ office about doing this.

You can do Permitted Work while in the SG, there is a Lower and Higher Limit on the hours you can do and how much you can earn. Any PW that you want to do must be agreed by the DWP in advance or you risk being seen as being in Remunerative Work which can result in your claim being closed. See

Permitted Work

In either case, you also need to be aware that whilst doing WRA or PW should not result in your being re-assessed early, it will be considered as part of any re-assessment, which could result in any new Decision taking you out of the SG or even removing your award.

Nothing on this board constitutes legal advice - always consult a professional about specific problems

ESA Support Group and wanting to work! 7 years 9 months ago #117415

Thanks very much for that Gordon!
None of this is ever straight forward is it?!
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