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Mandatory reconsiderations

Challenging work capability assessment decisions

If you are claiming universal credit and it is decided that you do not have a limited capability for work and none of the exceptional circumstances apply, you will be expected to search for work and be available for work.

If you are claiming employment and support allowance (ESA), if it is decided that you do not have a limited capability for work and none of the exceptional circumstances apply, you will not be entitled to the benefit anymore.

In either case, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ of the decision.

You can also ask for such a reconsideration if it is decided that you do not have a limited capability for work-related activity.

You must ask for the mandatory reconsideration within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter. You can ask for a reconsideration by phone, but it is best to put your request in writing. You can use a CRMR1 mandatory reconsideration request form, but are not obliged to do so. Include in the letter your National Insurance number, the date of the disputed decision and why you believe the decision is incorrect. Keep a copy of the letter.

If it has been decided that you do not have a limited capability for work, you will not be able to get ESA during the reconsideration process. You may be able to claim jobseeker’s allowance (JSA) instead. However, unless you are getting the severe disability premium, a claim for JSA will bring you into the universal credit system.