You will receive a letter explaining whether you have been placed in the Work Related Activity Group (WRAG) or the Support Group. It should also explain whether you are receiving income related (means tested) ESA or contribution based ESA.
If you have been placed in the WRAG but feel you ought to be in the Support Group, you must ask the Jobcentre to look at the decision again. This is called a mandatory revision. In due course you will receive another letter which will advise whether the original decision has been changed. You can then lodge an appeal if you are still unhappy with the decision.
For further information please see our Appeals and Reconsiderations information guide
As it is possible for you to be found fit for work as a result of this process, it is always advisable to get face to face specialist advice.
Information updated August 2018. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you are placed in this group you will receive a higher rate of ESA than if you are placed in the ‘work-related activity group’. In addition, you are not expected to take part in work related activities, nor will you have to attend work focused interviews although you can volunteer to do so if you wish. You will not have your benefit limited to 365 days nor will you be subject to the benefit cap.
While claiming ESA you may be able to do some paid work and still get your full ESA (and housing/council tax benefit).
Permitted work lower limit – You can do any work earning no more than £20 a week for an unlimited period.
Permitted work higher limit – this is work of less than 16 hours a week, with earnings which do not exceed £125.50 per week.
You can do such work for up to a maximum of 52 weeks if you are in the WRAG (Work related activity group). Subsequent periods of work are allowed but there must be a gap of at least 52 weeks between periods of working. The work can be for an unlimited period if you are in the support group.
You must tell the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) if you want to start doing permitted work. They’ll send you form PW1 to fill in and send back to them. Any volunteer work you do needs to be reported. It normally doesn’t affect your ESA.
Change of circumstances
If something changes that could affect whether you get Employment and Support Allowance you must tell the DWP what’s happened. Changes of circumstances include things such as if your condition improves or gets worse. Failure to do this may lead to an over payment which will need to be repaid.
As long as you are claiming ESA, you will be have repeated work capability assessments (WCAs) so you will continue to receive ESA50 questionnaires and may be asked to attend medicals. This is to ensure that you are placed in the most appropriate group. The frequency of these assessments will depend on your individual circumstances.
When making a claim for benefits it is always advisable to speak with an expert that understands the entire benefits system. An expert can help you to:
- complete benefit forms
- work out what you’re entitled
- appeal a decision you disagree with
If you need assistance with your ESA application, need further benefit advice or if you are unhappy with the outcome of the DWP’s decision it may be helpful to contact an organisation such as a local Citizens Advice Bureau or a local disability advice / welfare rights service. It is worth noting that these organisations can be very busy and if you need assistance you should contact them as soon as possible.
Disability Information Scotland:
For help searching for details of your local disability information service or welfare rights project use our
Scottish Disability Directory
Check out the Turn2us free, online Benefits Calculater to find out what means-tested benefits you may be entitled to.
Citizens Advice Scotland:
Government Information and Service website:
Find out what benefits you could get, how to claim and what happens if your circumstances change by using the Benefits Adviser online.
Information last updated on 4 June 2020. Please note that information may be subject to change. All information is provided in good faith but Disability Information Scotland does not endorse any product or service referred to within this resource.
If you would like this information guide in another version then please contact us and we will post or email you a copy.
Money, Benefits & Grants:Frequently Asked Questions
Through our helpline we receive enquiries spanning a wide range of different topics. Here is a selection of those most asked:
How can I appeal a PIP decision?
It is always a good idea to seek advice when challenging decisions. An advice agency will be able to tell you if you have a good case; how to obtain medical or other evidence; and may be able to represent you at an appeal hearing. In some cases there is a risk of losing a benefit if you challenge a decision. You can also search the Scottish Disability Directory to find your local welfare rights service.
You can challenge a decision if you think it is wrong according to the rules. The decision about your PIP is set out in a letter that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) send you. This is called the decision letter. The date on the letter is the decision date.
A Mandatory Reconsideration is the first step when challenging a PIP decision. It is asking the DWP to look at the decision again. You must normally ask for a Mandatory Reconsideration within one month of the decision date.
Appeal to Tribunal is the second step of challenging a PIP decision. You can normally only do this after you have got a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.
For more information see our Benefit Appeals & Reconsideration Guide.
How will PIP affect my ability to use the Motability Scheme?
The Motability Scheme enables disabled people to lease a car, powered wheelchair or scooter. Eligibility to use the Motability Scheme is based on receiving one of the following benefits.
- Higher Rate Mobility Component of DLA
- Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
- War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
Awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
For existing Scheme customers, their eligibility to remain on the Motability Scheme will depend on the outcome of their assessment for PIP. If you are awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you should not experience any disruption to your lease as you move from one benefit to the other.
NOT awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP
If you are not awarded the Enhanced Rate of the Mobility Component of PIP you will not be eligible to use the Motability Scheme. Being forced to leave the Scheme will be a difficult transition for you and your family.
The Motability Scheme has put in place a one-off package of transitional support to those customers who can no longer use the Scheme as a result of their initial DLA to PIP reassessment. This transitional package will include guidance on your mobility options and next steps, financial support if eligible, advice on buying a second hand car, information on insurance, maintenance and other mobility solutions, as well as the purchase price of your vehicle. You will be able to keep the car for eight weeks after the DLA payments stop.
In addition, if you first joined the Scheme before the end of 2013 you will have the option to keep the car for 26 weeks after the last DLA payment. If you choose to keep the car for this extended period your transitional support payment will be reduced.
For further details of the transitional support process please visit the Motability website. Their website has a useful section with more detailed information on the transitional support package. You can also phone the Motability Scheme helpline on 0300 456 4566.
Am I eligible for a reduction on Vehicle tax?
You might be eligible for a reduction or exemption on vehicle tax if you are disabled and meet the eligibility criteria. The vehicle must be registered in the disabled person’s name or nominated driver’s name and must only be used for the disabled person’s personal needs.
You can apply for exemption from paying vehicle tax if you get the:
- higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- Enhanced rate mobility component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
- War Pensioner’s Mobility Supplement
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
You can get a 50% reduction in vehicle tax if you get the PIP standard rate mobility component.
For more information contact our helpline on 0300 323 9962.
How can I find out what benefits might I be eligible for?
A good first step to see whether you are eligible to apply for certain benefits is to have a ‘benefits check’. A benefits check is a calculation that will include an estimate of what and how much you might get. You can get a check at your local welfare rights project, local Council Money Advice or Citizens Advice Bureau. Some housing associations and GP surgeries might also offer them.
You can also use the Turn2us benefit calculator online.
Before doing a benefits check, you will need information about any savings, income, pension, childcare payments or existing benefits (for both yourself and your partner).
To find your local welfare rights service search our Scottish Disability Directory. or contact our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
What support is available to help keep warm this winter?
At this time of year fuel costs increase and it can be difficult to keep yourself warm and cosy!
The good news is there are different grants and schemes available throughout the country to help people improve the heating in their homes and keep heating costs down. Check out our Help to heat your home guide for more information on what you might be eligible for.
Home Energy Scotland is a free impartial energy advice service to help people save money and keep their homes warmer. They offer simple energy saving tips, make referrals to funding schemes and can arrange benefits and tax credit checks to help people access available assistance.
If you would like more information about how you can help heat your home then please call Home Energy Scotland’s free helpline on 0808 808 2282 to check what support you might be entitled to. You can also text ‘warm’ to 81025 for a call back or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From layering up with fleeces and blankets, to keeping refueled with hot drinks, there are ways that you can help keeps yourself cosier and keeps fuel costs down. For some extra tips check out our Get Winter Ready blog and/or the Home Energy Scotland ‘Keeping your home warm this winter’ blog.
Am I eligible for VAT relief on disability equipment?
In general, disabled people do not have to pay VAT on goods and services that are designed/ or adapted solely for use by disabled people. These goods and services are often called ‘zero-rated’ or ‘eligible for VAT relief’.
The majority of suppliers will know if their product has been specifically designed to help disabled people. They will offer their products free of VAT at the point of sale.
You’ll need to confirm in writing that you meet these conditions. Your supplier may give you a form for this.
Most suppliers will use the Notice 701/7 VAT relief for disabled people form.
For further information see our VAT Exemption for Disabled Goods Information Guide or call our helpline on 0300 323 9961.
Money, Benefits & Grants:Search for Local Organisations
Our quick search tool can connect you to over 3000 service providers, suppliers and organisations supporting people across Scotland. To find support near you, simply enter your search term and select your local authority.