UK – The Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) test

Benefits and Work has created an online form which allows you to assess yourself using the new ESA work capability assessment just by clicking with your mouse . . . rather like an Atos health professional

The new ESA test came into force on 28th March 2011, but the DWP began sending out ESA50 questionnaires relating to the new test from 14th March. If you were sent the new ESA50 then you will be subject to the new WCA. The new ESA50 has 21 pages and activity 1 is ‘Moving around and using steps’. The old ESA50 has 28 pages and activity 1 is ‘Walking and using steps’.

Our online test takes you through the work capability assessment, the test used to decide whether you are eligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), and if so, whether you should be in the work-related activity group (WRAG) or the support group.

It covers:

  • Points for the work-related activity group
  • Descriptors for the support group
  • Exemptions
  • Exceptional circumstances

Benefits and Work members also have access to Help notes equivalent to 9 A4 pages to help them make the most accurate assessment.

But please be aware that a decision maker using a report from an Atos health professional may not reach the same conclusion that you do about your eligibility for employment and support allowance.

Our online ESA test will tell you whether you assess yourself as being eligible for ESA and if so in which group.

If you assess yourself as being in the ESA support group, it will also tell you the ways in which you qualified for the work-related activity group. Many people may potentially qualify for the work-related activity group in more than one way – for example by scoring two different 15 point descriptors or by being covered by the exceptional circumstances rules, as well as scoring points.

If you know the different ways you may qualify, you can ensure you give evidence about all of them in your questionnaire and at your medical, in case your evidence relating to the support group or one way of qualifying for the WRAG is not accepted.

The ESA test is anonymous and the results will appear in your browser as soon as you have completed the four pages of multiple choice questions. But, if you wish, you can also have your ESA results emailed to you.

You can start the ESA test here BUT PLEASE NOTE using the back button will delete the answers you have given and if you spend more than about 10 minutes on a page the form will time out.
Good luck.

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