Severe Disablement Allowance to ESA

The UK Government continues to phase out the Severe Disablement Allowance. This page explains what happens when claimants move from Severe Disablement Allowance to ESA.

SDA GUIDE: A different system called Employment and Support Allowance is for people with severe disabilities. That means many claimants will get reassessed and moved over from Severe Disablement Allowance to ESA.

As ESA replaces the Severe Disablement Allowance your local Jobcentre Plus will reassess your SDA claim. The Severe Disablement Allowance reassessment has two functions.

  1. It assesses whether you are capable of working.
  2. The reassessment determines if you are eligible to claim ESA.

Note: If you reach State Pension age before the 6th of April 2014 your claim does not need reassessing.

SDA to ESA Reassessment

Jobcentre Plus send a questionnaire to claimants who are not close to State Pension age. The questions on the form asks about your current state of health. They want to know how your disability or illness affects your ability to complete daily tasks.

  1. You must complete the questionnaire and return it to Jobcentre Plus before the deadline. You should include original medical reports or any letters that are relevant. They will return the originals to you.
  2. Your local Jobcentre Plus will inform you if you need to attend a face-to-face Work Capability Assessment. You must attend any request for a Work Capability Assessment.
  3. Your Severe Disablement Allowance will stop if the reassessment determines you are capable of working. The Jobcentre Plus staff will discuss your options and explain how to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.
  4. As a rule, you will get an automatic transfer onto Employment and Support Allowance if the reassessment shows you are unable to work.
Severe Disablement Allowance and Working

In most cases your claim for Severe Disablement Allowance is not affected if you:

  • Join in some volunteer work.
  • Work an average of less than sixteen (16) hours a week and earn up to £152 per week.
  • Work and earn up to £152 a week, if your work gets done as part of a treatment programme or gets supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation.
  • Work and earn up to £152 a week and are exempt from personal capability assessment.

What is the definition of supported permitted work? It is work supervised by someone from a local authority or a voluntary organisation. Their supervisory role is to arrange work for disabled people.

What if Your Circumstances Change?

A change in circumstance can affect how much benefit and allowances you get. You must inform the Jobcentre Plus office dealing with your claim if your circumstances change.

You should also tell them if you start any ‘permitted work’. Their contact telephone number will be written on any correspondence letters they sent you.

HMRC Benefit Cap

The DWP benefit cap limits the total amount of money that claimants aged 16 to 64 can get. It does not affect all benefits. But, the benefits cap may affect the total amount of benefit entitlement you get.

Moving from Severe Disablement Allowance to ESA