In this article, we answer the following question: “Can one be awarded PIP but no ESA?”
Can you be awarded PIP but no ESA?
In some cases, yes, you could be awarded PIP but no ESA.
PIP exists so that all people who consider themselves to have a disability or condition can get a little extra money to cover extra costs of being disabled.
You can claim this whoever much you do or don’t work and how much or little you earn.
ESA exists for people whose disability or condition means they can’t work or need support to work.
PIP and ESA are very different benefits, it is not unusual for people on PIP – even the enhanced rate – to work full time.
It is also possible for people on ESA to be not entitled to PIP.
Being awarded ESA does not depend on being unfit for work, per se.
Nor does it take account of what job someone could do or whether anyone would employ them.
It does depend entirely on meeting very specific descriptors.
- To be awarded employment and support allowance (ESA) and placed in the work-related activity group, you need to show that you score at least 15 points in the limited capability for work assessment. The points can come from either the physical or mental health assessment or from a combination of the two. So, for example, 9 points from the physical health test and six points from the mental health test would be sufficient for you to be found to have limited capability for work.
- Qualifying for the support group of employment and support allowance (ESA) is not about scoring points. Instead, if the decision-maker accepts that any of the following descriptors apply to you, then you will be placed in the support group.
Only one descriptor from each activity, the highest scoring one that applies to you, counts towards your score.
So if, for example, both 1(b) and 1(c) applied to you, then you would only score 9 points – not 18 – even though one is about using steps and the other is about mobilizing.
This is because both descriptors are from the same activity.
1. Mobilizing unaided by another person with or without a walking stick, manual wheelchair or other aid if such aid can reasonably be used.
(i) mobilize more than 50 meters on level ground without stopping in order to avoid significant discomfort or exhaustion
(ii) repeatedly mobilize 50 meters within a reasonable timescale because of significant discomfort or exhaustion.
2. Transferring from one seated position to another.
Cannot move between one seated position and another seated position located next to one another without receiving physical assistance from another person.
Cannot raise either arm as if to put something in the top pocket of a coat or jacket.
4. Picking up and moving or transferring by the use of the upper body and arms (excluding standing, sitting, bending or kneeling and all other activities specified in this Schedule).
Cannot pick up and move a 0.5-liter carton full of liquid.
5. Manual dexterity.
(a) press a button, such as a telephone keypad or;
(b) turn the pages of a book
with either hand.
6. Making self-understood through speaking, writing, typing, or other means normally used.
Cannot convey a simple message, such as the presence of a hazard.
7. Understanding communication by—
(a) verbal means (such as hearing or lip reading) alone,
(b) non-verbal means (such as reading 16 point print or Braille) alone, or
(c) a combination of (a) and (b),
using any aid that is normally, or could reasonably be, used, unaided by another person.
Cannot understand a simple message due to sensory impairment, such as the location of a fire escape.
8. Absence or loss of control whilst conscious leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or bladder, other than enuresis (bed-wetting), despite the wearing or use of any aids or adaptations which are normally, or could reasonably be, worn or used.
At least once a week experiences
(i) loss of control leading to extensive evacuation of the bowel and/or voiding of the bladder; or
(ii) substantial leakage of the contents of a collecting device;
sufficient to require cleaning and a change in clothing.
9. Learning tasks.
(a) Cannot learn how to complete a simple task, such as setting an alarm clock, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
10. Awareness of everyday hazards (such as boiling water or sharp objects).
(a) Reduced awareness of everyday hazards leads to a significant risk of:
(i) injury to self or others; or
(ii) damage to property or possessions,
such that they require supervision for the majority of the time to maintain safety.
11. Initiating and completing personal action (which means planning, organization, problem-solving, prioritizing or switching tasks).
Cannot, due to impaired mental function, reliably initiate or complete at least 2 sequential personal actions.
12. Coping with change.
(a) Cannot cope with any change, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder, to the extent that day to day life cannot be managed.
13. Coping with social engagement due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
Engagement in social contact is always precluded due to difficulty relating to others or significant distress experienced by the individual.
14. Appropriateness of behavior with other people, due to cognitive impairment or mental disorder.
Has, on a daily basis, uncontrollable episodes of aggressive or disinhibited behavior that would be unreasonable in any workplace.
15. Conveying food or drink to the mouth.
(a) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving physical assistance from someone else;
(b) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
(c) Cannot convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s physical presence; or
(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behavior fails to
convey food or drink to the claimant’s own mouth without receiving —
(i) physical assistance from someone else; or
(ii) regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence.
16. Chewing or swallowing food or drink.
(a) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink;
(b) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly stopping, experiencing breathlessness or severe discomfort;
(c) Cannot chew or swallow food or drink without repeatedly receiving regular prompting given by someone else in the claimant’s presence; or
(d) Owing to a severe disorder of mood or behavior fails to—
(i) chew or swallow food or drink; or
(ii) chew or swallow food or drink without regular prompting given by another person in the physical presence of the claimant.
Every reassessment of benefit should be treated in the same way as the first claim.
The forms must be filled in comprehensively and any supporting evidence sent in again.
Do not assume that the DWP knows anything about your or your condition or will access previous records.
A claimant who has been found ‘fit for work’ will not be paid anything while awaiting Mandatory Reconsideration (the first step in getting this looked at again).
The ‘fit for work’ decision effectively supersedes any fit notes issued by the claimant’s GP which means they can claim JSA in the interim if they are in immediate need of money.
As soon as the claim has been accepted, the claimant can submit a sicknote and gain 12 weeks without having to meet any job-seeking conditions.
They must not present the fit note when they first try to claim JSA or the claim will be refused.
Once the MR has been completed the claimant can proceed to appeal if still unhappy with the decision.
Once the Tribunal Service has accepted the appeal it is possible to be paid ESA again at the assessment rate upon presenting another fit note.
In this article, you found out that you can be awarded PIP but no ESA.
Although many people think PIP and ESA go hand in hand, the two governmental benefits are different and serve different purposes.
it is not unusual for people on PIP – even the enhanced rate – to work full time. It is also possible for people on ESA to be not entitled to PIP.
Please feel free to share your experience with PIP and ESA, any thoughts or questions you may have, in the comments section below.
FAQ about Awarded PIP but no ESA
Can you get PIP but not ESA?
You can be awarded PIP but no ESA as these two are very different benefits. It is not unusual for people on PIP – even the enhanced rate – to work full time.
It is also possible for people on ESA to be not entitled to PIP. Being awarded ESA does not depend on being unfit for work, per se.
Will PIP affect my ESA?
The PIP awards will not affect in any way your ESA payments.
PIP is a totally different “Benefit”, and it is not liable to Tax, nor is it classed as income for the purposes of a means test for Income Related (IR) ESA of other IR benefits.
What automatically qualifies you for PIP?
What automatically qualifies you for PIP is having a long-term disability or health condition, and need help or support with daily living, or with mobility, or both.
What happens to PIP payments when you reach 64?
PIP payments are continued to be paid when you reach 64 if it was awarded before the cut-off date even though the claimant is now over that age.
Can PIP be awarded for life?
PIP it is not usually rewarded for life.
Most of the time PIP is awarded for a fixed period of time although there are ‘ongoing’ awards.
If you’re terminally ill the award is for 3 years.
You can keep getting PIP after the fixed period of your award if either: the DWP reviews your existing PIP award and decides to renew it.
What happens when my PIP award ends?
When you PIP award ends you can send in another claim.
The DWP will usually start to review your claim one year before your award ends.
When the DWP reviews your claim, they send you a letter with a PIP review form.
- Personal Independence Payment: What You Need to Know
- Employment and Support Allowance: A Guide to ESA for People with a Disability or Long Term Health Condition, Their Families, Carers and Advisors
- Nolo’s Guide to Social Security Disability: Getting & Keeping Your Benefits
- Insider’s Guide to Government Benefits
- Social Security, Medicare and Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your Retirement and Medical Benefits