Greater Manchester Law Centre provides advice and representation for the following:

  • Completing application forms for disability benefits including:
    – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA50)
    – Universal Credit (UC50)
    – Personal Independence Payments
    – Disability Living Allowance for children
  • Appealing Work Capability (medical) Assessments for Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit
  • Appealing Personal Independence Payment decisions

We can now offer advice and representation on a full range of Social Security enquiries and appeals. However, our team is small and our resources are limited, so we cannot guarantee we will be able to advise on all cases or advocate for individuals due to adviser availability.

Appointments are subject to availability. Please contact us to check whether we can help.

To see if we can help you with your problem, please contact:

Greater Manchester Law Centre (GMLC)

669 Stockport Road
M12 4QE

Opening hours (appointments only)
Monday to Friday 9am-5pm
Please call and leave your name and number on our messaging system. We will call you back to book an appointment if appropriate.

Contact information

Phone 0161 769 2244

On our Contact page, you will find a map with location of our premises and travel information.

If we cannot help you, we will always try to give you further information and refer you to an organisation who can.

Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

What is Employment & Support Allowance?

Employment & Support Allowance is a benefit for people who have ‘limited capability for work’. Typically, this means people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. There are two elements to Employment & Support Allowance: contributory Employment & Support Allowance and income related Employment & Support Allowance. You can receive either of these two elements, and in some cases, both at the same time depending on your circumstance.

Entitlement to Employment & Support Allowance is assessed by passing a test called the Work Capabilities Assessment. All claimants are expected to send in a ‘fit note’ (this is formerly known as a sick note) which is produced by your GP for the duration of the claim.

If you pass the Work Capabilities Assessment then you will be assessed as to whether you have limited capability for work related activity. This determines whether you are placed in the support group or work related activity group of Employment & Support Allowance.

Who can claim Employment & Support Allowance?

You can claim Employment & Support Allowance if you meet the following:

  • You have limited capability for work and
  • You are aged over 16 or over but under pension age and
  • You are not entitled in your own right to claim Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance and are not in a couple entitled to a joint claim for Jobseekers Allowance and
  • You are not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay and
  • Satisfy the rules for Contributory Employment & Support Allowance or Income Related Employment & Support Allowance.

You can also Employment & Support Allowance if you are a member of a couple and both of you are entitled to make a claim for Income Related Employment & Support Allowance. If this is the case and one of you is more likely to be assessed as having limited capability for work, then that member should make the joint claim.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

What is Personal Independence Payment?

Personal Independence Payments otherwise known as PIP is a non means-tested benefit that replaced Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged between 16 and 64 from April 2013. PIP is intended to help towards the extra costs of having a long-term health condition or disability. It can be paid to anybody who meets the conditions regardless of their income, savings or the amount of National Insurance Contributions that you have paid over the years.

Awards will be made to you if your health condition or disability has the required degree of impact on your ability to take part in everyday life. It will be made up of a daily living component and a mobility component. Within each component there will be a standard and an enhanced rate.

A person can be awarded either or both of the two components of PIP:

  • To qualify for the standard rate, your ability to undertake daily living or mobility activities must be ‘limited’ by your physical or mental condition; or
  • To qualify for the enhanced rate, your ability to undertake daily living or mobility activities must be ‘severely limited’ by your physical or mental condition.

How will Personal Independence Payments affect my other benefits?

  • If you are entitled to the daily living component of PIP, then a carer may be able to claim carer’s allowance for looking after you.
  • PIP will not be counted as income for means-tested benefits or tax credits.
  • If you are entitled to PIP, you will have access to the system of disability premiums and additions in the current benefits system, and disability elements for tax credits, in a similar way to Disability Living Allowance.
  • If you get the enhanced rate of the PIP mobility component, you can have access to the Motability scheme if your award has over a year left to run.

Recent GMLC Welfare Benefits News

2023: GMLC secures £1.9 million in welfare benefits gains

In 2023, GMLC helped the residents of Greater Manchester obtain £1.9 million in unclaimed or wrongly refused benefits. This is our highest amount in a single year since GMLC was…

Harsher benefit sanctions don’t work: DWP releases suppressed report

As the government pushes for an even harsher benefit sanctions regime, GMLC campaign volunteer Tammy Ho writes on the DWP’s recent report into sanctions’ (in)effectiveness.   A report published by…

GMLC and NAWRA get the DWP moving on Pension Credit delays

As the cost-of-living crisis hit and energy prices rose in April 2022, the government launched a campaign to encourage low-income pensioners to apply for Pension Credit, which is a form…

Welfare benefits reforms in the 2023 budget: je ne regrette rien?

GMLC’s Welfare Benefits Supervisor Dan Manville reacts to the April 2023 budget announced yesterday, looking at proposed welfare reforms and what it might mean for benefits claimants, including those who…