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The information is as follows:
(a) Where an individual suffers from a progressive disease and is expected to live for less than six months, they are considered to be terminally ill and are placed immediately into the Support Group of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). On declaring this, they are dealt with under fast track rules which mean their claim must be processed as soon as possible and they are exempt from a face-to-face assessment. These claimants receive the higher rate of benefit immediately.
Claimants who do not claim under special fast track rules will have their case assessed on paper-based evidence. Processes are in place for health care professionals to request further evidence if required. Claimants with a limited capability for work will be placed in the Support Group.
(b) ESA claimants in the Support Group are not subject to any work-related requirements but can access employment and health-related support on a voluntary basis.