Claimants not required to attend a health and work
1. Some ESA claimants do not need to have a health and work
conversation, if they fall into one of the following exemption categories:
A claimant is regarded as being terminally ill if both of the following apply:
at any time the person suffers from a progressive disease;
the person’s death in consequence of that disease can reasonably be
expected within 6 months.
Receiving treatment for cancer
The claimant is:
receiving treatment for cancer by way of chemotherapy or
likely to receive such treatment within 6 months after the date of the
determination of capability for work and work-related activity; or
recovering from such treatment and we are satisfied that the claimant
should be treated as having limited capability for work and work-
Life threatening disease
The claimant is suffering from a life threatening disease in relation to which:
there is medical evidence that the disease is uncontrollable, or
uncontrolled, by a recognised therapeutic procedure; and in the case
of a disease that is uncontrolled, there is a reasonable cause for it not
to be controlled by a recognised therapeutic procedure.
Risk to self and others
The claimant is suffering from a specific illness, disease or disablement by
reason of which there would be a substantial risk to the physical or mental
health of any person were the claimant is mandated to attend a HWC. Full time carers
The claimant is providing care for a severely disabled person for at least 35
hours a week. A severely disabled person is defined as someone receiving:
the middle or highest rate of the Disability Living Allowance care
Constant Attendance Allowance;
either rate of Personal Independence Payment daily living
the Armed Forces Independence Payment.
Does not qualify for the Carer Element but has significant caring
responsibilities of at least 35 hours a week for a severely disabled
A carer for at least 35 hours a week of a severely disabled person
who is awaiting an assessment for a severe disability benefit, i.e.
DLA, PIP, AA or CAA will be placed in this group pending that benefit
Lone parents with a child under one
A lone parent/nominated responsible carer (including a foster carer/adoptive
parent) of a child under 1.
A parent who has recently adopted a child
An adoptive parent who is the nominated responsible carer (lead carer) for a
child: - for a period of 12 months from the date that the child moves into the
household, or from up to 14 days earlier if the claimant requests. Claimants in full time education eg disabled students
Disabled students may qualify for ESA (conts) while receiving education as
long as they satisfy the basic and contributory conditions of entitlement. The
only full-time students who may be entitled to ESA (IR) while they are
studying are those who are in receipt of DLA/PIP. They have to meet all
other conditions of entitlement. For the purposes of ESA (IR), someone who
is entitled to DLA/PIP is not ‘receiving education’. Young people without parental support and in full-time non-advanced
education or training
Non-advanced education is any qualification up to A Level, or equivalent. A
young person with no parental support will be able to qualify up to age 21, or
the end of the academic year in which they reach age 21 (or the end of the
course if earlier).. Pregnancy related issues
Pregnant within 11 weeks of expected week of confinement or 15 weeks
after her expected date of confinement.
The claimant is a pregnant woman and there is a serious risk of damage to
her health or to the health of her unborn child if she does not refrain
attending a HWC. Claimants at/over Pension Credit age
In mixed age couples where one partner is above the State Pension Credit
(SPC) qualifying age and the other partner is below SPC age, the over SPC
age partner will have no work related requirements. The under SPC age
partner will have conditionality based on his or her personal circumstances.
The claimant has reached the qualifying age for state pension credit and is
the care component of disability living allowance at the highest rate
the daily living component of personal independence payment at the
Receiving certain treatments
The claimant is receiving:
regular weekly treatment by way of hemodialysis for chronic renal
treatment by way of plasmapheresis; or
regular weekly treatment by way of total parenteral nutrition for gross
impairment of enteric function; or is recovering from any of those
forms of treatment in circumstances in which the Secretary of State is
satisfied that the claimant should be treated as having limited
capability for work.
In hospital or residential care
The claimant is:
undergoing medical or other treatment as an in-patient in a hospital of
similar institution; or
recovering from such treatment in circumstances in which the
Secretary of State is satisfied that the claimant should be treated as
having limited capability for work.
Prevented from working by law (Notifiable diseases)
is excluded or abstains from work pursuant to a request or notice in
writing lawfully made or given under an enactment; or
is otherwise prevented from working pursuant to an enactment, by
reason of it being known or reasonably suspected that the claimant is
infected or contaminated by, or has been in contact with a case of, a
relevant infection or contamination.
ESA claimed as credits only.