Severe Disablement Allowance

Since April 2001 it has not been possible to make a new claim for Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA). You may have been able to claim if before April 2001 you were unable to work because of illness or disability.

Severe Disablement Allowance has been replaced with Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - we will re-assess your Severe Disablement Allowance claim to see if you’re capable of work or eligible for ESA.

Your claim won’t be re-assessed if you reached State Pension age before 6 April 2014.

Re-assessing your claim

If you’re not about to reach State Pension age, the Department for Communities (DfC) will send you a questionnaire. This will ask you how your illness or disability affects your ability to complete everyday tasks.

Complete this questionnaire and return it by the deadline. Include original medical reports or letters that are relevant - you’ll get these back.

DfC will tell you if you need a face-to-face Work Capability Assessment. If you do, you must go.

If the re-assessment shows you’re capable of working, your Severe Disablement Allowance will stop. DfC will discuss your next steps, including claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance.

If the re-assessment shows you can’t work, you’ll be transferred automatically onto Employment and Support Allowance.

Working and Severe Disablement Allowance

Usually your Severe Disablement Allowance is not affected if you:

  • do volunteer work
  • work and earn up to £20 a week
  • work for less than 16 hours a week on average and earn up to £101 a week for 52 weeks
  • do ‘supported permitted work’ and earn up to £101 a week

Supported permitted work is supervised by someone from a local authority or voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people.

If your circumstances change

Tell DfC if your circumstances change - this can affect how much you get. The number will be on any letters DfC has sent you.

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