How to claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
WHAT IS ESA?
Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers financial help if you’re not able to work, due to illness or disability, and will also provide assistance in getting back into work, if appropriate.
DO I QUALIFY?
You may qualify for ESA if:
you’re under State Pension age,
you’re not getting Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Maternity Pay and you haven’t gone back to work,
you’re employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payments,
you’re not receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance,
you’ve lived or worked abroad and paid enough UK National Insurance (or the equivalent in an EEA or other country with which the UK has an agreement).
You may also be transferred to ESA if you’ve been claiming other benefits, such as Income Support or Incapacity Benefit.
In order to qualify, you must have a Work Capability Assessment. This is to ascertain to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.
If you qualify for ESA, you’ll be placed in one of two groups - either a work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser, or a support group, in which you won’t need to attend such interviews.
HOW MUCH WILL I GET?
How much ESA you’ll receive depends on such circumstances as your income, the type of ESA you qualify for and where you are in the assessment process.
You’ll normally receive the assessment rate for thirteen weeks after your claim:
up to £57.90 per week if you’re aged 25 or under
up to £73.10 per week if you’re aged 25 or over.
After that, if you’re entitled to ESA, you’ll receive:
up to £73.10 per week if you’re in the work-related activity group,
up to £109.65 per week if you’re in the support group.
If you’re in the support group and on income-related ESA, you’re also entitled to the enhanced disability premium of £15.90 per week.
You may also qualify for the severe disability premium of £62.45 per week.
HOW DO I APPLY?
The fastest way to apply for ESA is by phone, while the number you call depends on which type of ESA you’re applying for.
For contributions-based and income-related ESA, use the following numbers:
Use one of the following ESA contact numbers when trying to get help with your claim.
Telephone: 0800 055 6688.
Textphone: 0800 023 4888.
Welsh language telephone: 0800 012 1888.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
Alternatively, you can also fill in and print out the ESA1 form and send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus office.
If you live in a Universal Credit full-service area, you should claim by calling the full service helpline and choosing, “Option 2,” followed by, “Option 6.”
Telephone: 0800 328 5644.
Textphone: 0800 328 1344.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.
To request an application via alternative/accessible formats, such as Braille, large print or audio CD, also use the above numbers.
WHAT INFORMATION WILL I NEED TO SUPPLY?
When you make your claim, you’ll need to provide the following information:
Your bank account details.
Your National Insurance number.
Home and mobile telephone numbers.
A medical certificate.
Your GP’s address and phone number.
Mortgage or landlord details.
A council tax bill.
Your employer’s address, telephone number and dates of employment, or the last date on which you worked.
Details of any other money you have coming in, such as benefits or sick pay.
IF MY APPLICATION IS REJECTED?
If your application is rejected and you disagree with the decision, you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. You must usually ask for, “Mandatory reconsideration,” before doing this.
For further information, visit the GOV.UK website: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance