Severe Disablement Allowance
Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) is a benefit for people who are unable to work as a result of a long term severe illness or disability and who have not paid sufficient National Insurance contributions to qualify for Incapacity Benefit.
From April 2001 the law changed so that no new claims for SDA could be made. However, periodic reassessment of people who are in receipt of SDA may take place.
The medical requirement for entitlement to SDA is that the person must be incapable of work and at least 80 percent disabled. Non-medical decision makers make decisions about entitlement taking all the evidence into account.
At the time of reassessment, people may meet the threshold for benefit on the basis of paper evidence. If this is not possible, they must undergo a face to face assessment. This assessment is carried out by approved Atos Healthcare professionals, who are trained in disability assessment.
The role of healthcare professionals
If DWP consider that a person might meet the threshold of incapacity without the need for a face to face assessment, they may ask the healthcare professionals responsible for clinical care of the person to provide medical information. They usually request this information by sending either form SDA21 (to hospitals) or SDA23 (to GPs).