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Significantly, there is no statutory time limit within which the DWP must complete an MR, so claimants disputing a limited capability for work decision could face lengthy periods of non-entitlement to ESA during a MR.

The law only appears to provide for the payment of ESA pending an appeal (but not pending a MR) of a decision that a claimant does not have limited capability for work.1 The government has recently confirmed, however, that once a claimant has appealed, ESA can be backdated to cover the full period of the MR.2 It is, therefore, in a claimant’s interest that the MR is carried out as quickly as possible to enable ESA to be reinstated and any arrears paid, either as a result of a favourable MR, or the lodging of an appeal following an unfavourable MR.

Hi all, I applied for ESA last week and received a text to say my claim has been awarded.

employment and support allowance backdating-80

The rules about when we can pay a backdate are different for people who are working age and people who have reached pension age.

If you (or your partner if you have one) have reached pension age, you don’t have to ask us to backdate your claim – we will automatically check if we can when we receive your form.

This process is not backdating, it is what the law says must happen when you apply.

This rule also applies to men over pension credit age but less than aged 65 who are NOT in receipt of Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

The government has indicated that in straightforward cases, where no further information is needed, the MR of an ESA disallowance could be completed in about 14 days.3 In such a scenario, claimants could potentially have their ESA restored with little or no gap in payment (precluding the need to claim jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) – see below).

It may, however, be in a claimant’s interest to obtain and submit further evidence to increase the prospect of a favourable MR and avoid the need to pursue an appeal.If you do not return it within the time limit your payments may stop. If you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support remember to tell us if you start getting ESA or if the amount you get changes.You can contact our Advice and Benefits Service to do this at [email protected] or on 020 8921 4900.After four weeks you will receive an ESA50 questionnaire to assess if your ability to work is limited.You must complete and return this within four weeks.I only sent off my letter with medical notes today but when I applied for the benefit over the phone I did tell them the date I'd be claiming from.

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