27 October 2008
Benefits and Work has published a 43 page members guide to Understanding Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to coincide with the introduction of the new benefit today.

Understanding Employment and Support Allowance coverIt is the first of a series of members guides we will be publishing throughout November.

Understanding Employment and Support Allowance is intended to help claimants get to grips with this extraordinarily complex new benefit. It begins with an overview of ESA which covers:

  • The two types of ESA
  • The two phases of ESA
  • The two groups and two components of ESA
  • The two work interviews of ESA

The guide then goes on to explain the route that claimants will follow in order to claim ESA and also the steps that Atos Healthcare will take when assessing claimants.

Details of the exemptions, points, descriptors and exceptional circumstances regulations are set out in full. In addition, the guide explains how work-focused health-related assessments and work-focused interviews will be carried out. There is also brief information about appeal rights, rates of payment and a glossary of ESA acronyms.

Over the next few weeks, as the first ESA claimants move through the thirteen week assessment phase, we will be publishing detailed, step-by-step guides to claims, medicals and appeals.

Members can download a copy Understanding Employment and Support Allowance

And don't forget that everyone is welcome to take our free ESA Self-Assessment Test.


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