Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.
Income-Related Employment and Support Allowance

There are different types of Income-Related ESA decisions that the claimant can challenge, for example:

  • A decision that they are fit for work and are therefore not entitled to IR-ESA.
  • A decision that they are in the Work Related Activity Group, not the Support Group.
  • A decision that they do not have good cause for not returning, or missing the deadline for returning, the medical questionnaire (ESA50 form) or for failing to attend a medical examination and so they have been treated as fit for work and not entitled to IR-ESA.
  • The application of a sanction or the period a sanction is applied for.

Click on the links below for more information.


If the claimant wins their challenge...

  • They may be due some back pay. 
  • If they are owed a large amount, this could be paid in instalments if it is in the interests of the claimant and the claimant agrees - more info here.
  • Arrears of benefit due are disregarded as capital for 12 months (or - where the arrears are £5000 or more and are paid to compensate for an official error or an error of law, they are disregarded for the lifetime of the ESA claim (and if the claimant moves from ESA onto UC - until UC terminates). (Para 11, Schedule 9 ESA Regs 2008).


How to Challenge

 Information about the process here.

Found Fit For Work

Information here on what to do if found fit.

Failure to Return/Attend

 What to do if not sent ESA50 or missed medical.

WRAG vs Support

Advice for those not happy about being put in the Work Related Activity Group.


Useful information on challenging sanctions here.

Case Law

You may find relevant cases here which you can quote when challenging a decision.