Unsuccessful Claims for Employment and Support Allowance

A large proportion of those who claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) withdraw their claim or are found fit for work and not eligible for benefit. We know that some of them return to work, and others go on to claim Job Seeker's Allowance, but a large proportion simply 'disappear' from benefits data. This exploratory qualitative study talked to people about their decision-making process; why they claimed ESA, why they withdrew their claim, how they reacted to the decision on their claim, what they did next, and why. It aimed to shed light on the variety of trajectories among unsuccessful claimants of ESA, and the differing circumstances and motivations that may underlie these.