ESA has a medical test, called the Work Capability Assessment, that is broken into two parts: the first determines if you are entitled to ESA at all and looks at your ability to carry out everyday activities.
If you are blind or partially sighted, the most relevant activities within the Work Capability Assessment are about your ability to get around out of doors independently and communicate with other people.
If you are in the work-related group, the maximum amount of time that you can receive contributory ESA for is limited to 365 days.
ESA has two elements: contributory ESA for people who have paid sufficient National Insurance contributions and income-related ESA for those who are on a low income. The Government is starting to replace Income-related ESA with Universal Credit.
The second part of the medical test determines which group you will be put into.
ESA has two groups: you will be placed into one of two groups - a support group or a work-related activity group - based on the results of the second test.
The time limit does not apply to you if you are in the support group.
ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support (paid on the basis of incapacity for work) for new claimants on 27 October 2008.Jobcentre Plus will transfer existing Incapacity Benefit and Income Support claimants over to ESA by 2014.