Reassessments for claimants in the support group for employment and support allowance (ESA) or who have limited capability for work-related activity (LCWRA) for universal credit (UC) have not stopped and will continue until 2025, the DWP has now clarified.

The department caused enormous confusion when it published its response to the work capability assessment (WCA) consultation last month.  The document repeatedly suggested that current LCWRA/support group claimants would never be reassessed again.

It included phrases such as:

“almost all people who are currently assessed as having LCWRA will never face a WCA reassessment again”

 “no one currently assessed as having LCWRA will face a WCA reassessment, save in some exceptional circumstances”

 “The commitment that no one with an existing LCWRA decision today will be reassessed, except in a few limited circumstances, means that they can try work without fear of losing their LCWRA financial support.”

This last claim turns out to be especially misleading and could lead to claimants losing their LCWRA status if taken at face value.

Because, in a response dated 15 December 2023 to a freedom of information request asking for clarification of whether claimants with LCW or LCWRA would be subject to reassessment before 2025, the DWP stated:

“We have already resumed WCA reassessments on a limited basis for existing LCW and LCWRA claimants, now that we have recovered some capacity following Covid response measures that focused on processing initial claims to ensure eligible claimants were brought into payment.

 “Up until 2025 when the new WCA changes announced at Autumn Statement in November 2023 are introduced, WCA reassessments will continue as normal for both the LCW and LCWRA  groups depending on circumstances, including prognosis period and subject to available capacity in the system.”

It’s worth noting the phrase “now that we have recovered some capacity” which strongly suggests that the DWP and the assessment companies still only have limited resources for dealing with reassessments, in addition to new claims.

And, in the following paragraph, the same caveat is repeated “depending on circumstances, including prognosis period and subject to available capacity in the system”.  Because they have only limited capacity, the inference is that claimants whose condition is unlikely to improve are less likely to have a reassessment.

Though given the DWP’s optimism when it comes to the prognosis for any given condition, the reassessment net could still be cast quite wide.

The reality is though, that the vast majority of current LCWRA/support group claimants will almost certainly be spared a further reassessment, if the DWP follows through with its current plans to end reassessments for existing claimants with LCWRA in 2025.

But that will be scant reassurance to individual claimants, who can never be certain that they will not be one of the unlucky  ones.

Do remember, though, that if you are called for a reassessment, it will be under the current rules, as would any subsequent appeal even if it takes place after any new regulations are introduced.  And the success rate for reassessments remains very high.

Figures from December 2022 show that the percentage of DWP decisions for repeat WCAs was:

  • 83% of outcomes for Support Group
  • 13% of outcomes were for Work Related Activity Group
  • 4% of outcomes were found Fit for Work

So, the probability of the DWP undertaking a mass reassessment programme on current claimants before the proposed changes to the WCA, as some people fear, is close to zero.

You can read the full freedom of information request and the DWP response here.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Meg · 3 days ago
    I had lcwra and enhanced pip. On my Uc journal been asked to apply picture of my passport which I did. I got respond: picture is not clear enough😳 so I added 4 more . Same respond then my claim has been closed. Straight away I have had applied for Uc but didn't get my lcwra element. I asked why: because I have to start the process again while my claim has been closed. I have called to wca and they told me that I'm entitled to lcwra till 2026 and if my circumstances has not changed then I won't be reassessed. As long they don't change their decision I'm still on it. But Uc said different and again they closed my claim
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    Kay · 1 months ago
    Yet again they prey on the vulnerable. I didn't ask to be in the situation I'm in, far from it. They always pick on the disabled class first. They want to check each others bank account before they start on us.
    Beggars belief, shame on the politicians
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Anonymous 33QZ6 · 29 days ago
      @Kay NEED ADVICE 
      I'm on LCWRA/UC AND PIP 
      My question is I have been awarded 10 years of PIP AND THE GOVERNMENT ARE SAYING PIP IS GOING TO VOUCHERS. "HOW DO I PAY MY BILLS WITH VOUCHERS 🤔 and I'm not able to work PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY 
      I'm in a bit of a panic,
      who would I contact for advice but for it not to affect my money or do I wait and panic more. Need more information on LCWRA, as well if anyone can help me it's much appreciated PLEASE 😭😭




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    Denise · 1 months ago
    This is so stressing, from 2028 to a matter of months, they are still moving tax credits over yet, loads  not got the right amount of money, elements like housing benefit, child benefit are missing, and now they are moving the most valuable, what about the bedbound and housebound like me, how the hell are we to make a claim, especially when you are on your own, and were are we suppose to get ID from, if we don't have a passport or driving licence, they say out support group status will go over onto UC how, I have heard claimants who have had a change in circumstances and had to make a claim, told to get a fit note, and been reassessed, when they should not have too, what's going to happen to us who will fail this migration.
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    Sean Sandles · 1 months ago
    Being Disabled was not my choice I used to work very hard now I have lumbar stenosis and arthritis in most joints maybe they will start offering lethal injections my tombstone can read hear lays a disabled man deleted by Rishi Sunak 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Dazer 37 · 1 months ago
      @Sean Sandles Yeah I'm with you on that one Sean I didn't ask for a leg amputated and serious rheumatoid arthritis 
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    Kevin · 1 months ago
    hi, I had a telephone assessment a few days ago(sat and a bank holiday) I now get a text on the Wednesday after saying I have another telephone appointment...The 1st assessment went so different to the normal, I was asked about incontinence and was then told there was no need to ask more questions as I had enough points already, so why the 2nd phone call ?.
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    CarerCare · 2 months ago
    I'm a carer and have power of attorney, and in the support group of ESA, not long ago I received a health assessment directed for the person I care for, with incorrect details, after contact, the details were updated and directed to me for the person I care for, with the act of appointee, which is no correct, any ideas what I should do, as I've read this shouldn't be happening? 
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    Gambolputty · 2 months ago
    https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/other/dwp-issues-new-universal-credit-update-addressing-assessments-for-claimants/ar-BB1lMa8r?ocid=msedgntp&pc=U531&cvid=e689ab185cc840e2b02ab97c713dd40a&ei=19 

    Reports are stating that WCA reassessments are no longer happening for those of us outside of the limited circumstances mentioned in the consultation results. The Daily Express, Birmingham Mail, and Yahoo News have all covered this in the last hour or so. (18/04/2024)

    Key points from the article that's being widely circulated and from Mims Davies in an interview are as follows.

    Ms Davies said of the changes: "Claimants who currently have no work-related requirements, except in some very limited circumstances, will not be reassessed or lose benefit because of these changes.

    "Claimants with the most severe health conditions and disabilities whose condition is unlikely to ever improve are no longer routinely reassessed."

    It's looking more likely we can breathe a sigh of relief now!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Denise · 1 months ago
      @Gambolputty Rubbish, claimants in the support group of ESA who had to make a claim for UC because of a change in circumstances, have had to submit a fit note and gone though a medical reassessment, so why have they had to go though this, I don't believe anything this vile government says.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Rainbow · 1 months ago
      @Gambolputty Thanks for this 
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    Wendy · 2 months ago
    Apologies I didn't explain clearly on my last post.
    I understand you can't get ESA & LCW ...my question is why when you've been put in the support group DWP then puts you in LCW group...as I said the payments differ by £170 a month
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 2 months ago
      @Wendy The DWP have downgraded you from the Support Group/ LCWRA to LCW, which means from now onward you're expected by the DWP to be capable of work at some point in the future and have to take part in work-related activity, meet regularly with an adviser at the Jobcentre, go to occasional training courses, and do various tasks that the DWP say will make you better.

      The reduction of payment is due to the fact that they've downgraded you from Support Group/ LCWRA to LCW.
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    Wendy · 2 months ago
    Hi
    I was awarded (and still get) ESA + support. It's taken away as I get LCW.
    this means I'm about £170 worse off each month.
    Please can someone explain?
    Would really appreciate
    Wendy
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    Anonymous · 3 months ago
    I've been on esa for over 10 years due to mental illness cptsd panic disorder and depression they made me claim universal credit than cut almost a 3rd of my esa without explanation than when I question them they tell me I need a sick note and that's not true I also quality for lcwra group as I'm pregnant and long term sick they had me in work related requirements for 9 months all so they don't have to pay me my esa properly now only 1 month ago they move me into the lcwra group and tell me my money will not change and I won't get the extra money I've checked the rules I've called dwp and I am entitled to the payment yet universal credit refuse to pay it me I only get 140 a month for esa I used to get 200 every two weeks when ever I question anything they ignore me or tell me something made up I've had to read up about everything just so they can't bullshit me I'm exhausted going around in circles with these people they don't care of your struggling if they make you want to kill yourself they out uou through so much stress for no reason other than to refuse you sick money your entitled to 
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    Bob · 3 months ago
    It's so confusing we get told different things by people it's very stressful waiting for the dreaded envelope coming through door to fill out. The form itself is a mine field and questions on it are outdated. 
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    Philip · 4 months ago
    Hi I am terminally ill and on universal credit can I also claim this 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 4 months ago
      @Philip I don't know what you mean by "this".

      If you mean it by support group/ LCWRA, you won't need to have a WCA interview/assessment. Regulations provide that a person who is terminally ill is automatically treated as having limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA).
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    Alison · 4 months ago
    I was looking to see ‘if’ I can work a few hours a day/week whilst on lwcra. I’m afraid that if I try to see if I am able to do some kind of work I’ll lose my benefits. 

    There seems little information about this and how to go about it. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Jack · 4 months ago
      @Alison You can work up to 16 hours per week and. It over. And can only earn a certain amount a month if you go over then you will be deemed fit for work and it will be took of you.
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    keepingitreal · 4 months ago
    I hear you, The Dog Mother. Sorry you're suffering, but I see you get what I was saying. Far be it from me to predict the outcome of your wca, but if you got through on paper based last four times, that looks as if they're going to accept your claim. At least any MR or appeal will be under current criteria. Hope your upcoming hospital assessments go the way you want. 

    Just a thought, because I don't know your situation, but any chance you could ask (if - let's say when - you get a favourable outcome for this wca, or during a f2f or phone assessment), for there to be no future assessments for you, based on the Severe Conditions Criteria? Seems to me if you've got through on paper based so many times they shouldn't be putting you through this any more. Something you could check out with an adviser if any of your conditions qualify as lifelong/incurable. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      kuju2 · 3 months ago
      @The Dog Mother Hi The Dog Mother,

      I have just been reassessed, I too was fearing the very worst. I got my ESA50 last June and only had the assessment in January this year. It was a phone assessment which I found to be better than face to face. I got my decision a couple of weeks later and have been put back in the Support Group (I have been in Support Group since 2011). When my ESA50 arrived last June I became suicidal and had actually planned to end it all. I have been given a prognosis date of 2 years so will prob receive ESA50 around Nov next year, I am already fretting about what might happen! Good luck xxx hopefully you will be put back in the Support Group again xxx

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      The Dog Mother · 4 months ago
      @keepingitreal To be honest keepingitreal I'm too afraid to ask anything. 
      What I can tell you is this, A few of my conditions have no cure, some go back to childhood. They know this,but it doesn't seen to matter, It's not like my life isn't impacted daily because it is. I've more than one thing going on every day,it's relentless. 
      I'm exhausted and in pain no matter what I do,or how well I try to manage things.
      How clean my lifestyle is etc makes little difference. Then they come along once more and my MH plummets. 
      I know the fear of reassessments is always there ,for me anyway.But the actual form arriving (as it does for most of us) sends me into a downward spiral. It's hardly fair that they make your health worse. It's illogical that in assessing your capabilities for work they damage you more. The mind boggles.
      Take care. X
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    keepingitreal · 4 months ago
    If you're currently in esa support or in lcwra, surely it's best not to be reassessed before the proposed changes? If you are still support/lcwra and the changes come in, ie if conservatives have passed the changes, you will never be reassessed. If the changes are not passed, ie if Labour win the election and stick to their pledge not to change wca, then reassessments will continue, even for support/lcwra, but will be under the rules in place now.

    The only advantage I can see to a reassessment before wca changes is if you went from fit or wrag/lcw to support/lcwra. A reassessment resulting in a move from support/lcwra to fit or wrag/lcw before changes to wca would mean you could be reassessed after the changes under the new criteria and find it very difficult to regain support/lcwra.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog Mother · 4 months ago
      @keepingitreal And that's my worry right now after sending in my recent WCA form.
      I'll be reassessed this time and bumped off SG. Even with new evidence and another condition and pending assessments for four diff hospital departments.
      I'm beside myself with anxiety to the point of being sick.
      Esp as my last four WCA were granted on paper based.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sara · 5 months ago
    If the proposed changes come into force, ESA Support/lcwra won't be reassessed.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sara · 4 months ago
      @A Yes, A, that's why I said 'if the proposed changes come into force'. If the proposed changes come into force, by whatever means, with whatever party, whenever, those in ESA Support/lcwra now won't be reassessed,, under the proposed changes. If the proposals change, by whatever means, with whatever party, whenever, we will have to adjust to and plan for  that. 

      We can only work with the information we have.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 4 months ago
      @Sara That's only if the Tories get re-elected. If the Labour get elected, the reassessment will continue to take place at regular intervals of time as usual.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    rookie · 5 months ago
    A, you seem to have changed your stance (" I think it's better to be reassessed this year, rather waiting till the new changes come into force, or believing that the Labour would offer better treatment, which I heavily doubt")  Any reason?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 4 months ago
      @rookie No, I haven't changed my stance at all. What I'm saying is that although it's more than likely that the Labour will win at the next GE, it's better to be assessed before 2025 to be safe both from what Labour might come up with and in case the Tories get re-elected, as from history we cannot automatically rule out a Tory win. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      The Dog mother · 4 months ago
      @rookie Here's the thing with that, if they only give you a year after reassement then you will still be reassesd in 2025. Which is my worry right now as I've sent my wca back recently after a three yr award.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    reasonstobecheerful · 5 months ago
    "If you hope better things would come from the Labour under the dictatorship of Keir Starmer, you would be disappointed big time"

     Right, A, what?



  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    rookie · 5 months ago
    "....according to Labour. .." Really, A?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 4 months ago
      @rookie Yes, according to Labour. That's what they've said. Make no mistake, you're daydreaming if you're expecting better treatment from the Labour Party, as you'll be disappointed big time.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    ABC · 5 months ago
    Hi. Does anyone know if the 2025 plans for no reassessments will also apply to
     those on esa who are in the support group?
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      A · 5 months ago
      @ABC I don't think the current Tory's plan for no reassessment will ever materialise, as Labour is more than likely to win the next general election, and according to Labour, the reassessments will remain as they're currently and claimants will keep getting reassessed at regular intervals of time..
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      DEF · 5 months ago
      @ABC Yes they apply to esa support group from 2025 
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