What is Employment and Support Allowance and How Can I Claim it?

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(Newswire.net — January 11, 2018) —  If you suffer from any condition or disability that affects your ability to work, you can get some money to help you meet your basic needs. You can benefit from the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you meet the basic requirements. Read on for more information on the allowance, including the requirements and the process of claiming support.

How ESA Works

Employment and support allowance offers financial support to those who cannot hold a regular job because of an illness or disability. The two major types of ESA include the contribution-based or contributory and the income-related ESA allowance.

You can claim the contribution-based allowance if you have paid the required National Insurance contributions. Alternatively, you can claim the income-related ESA if you are earning a low or no income. The income-related allowance is sometimes granted in addition to the contribution-based allowance, depending on an individual’s situation.

The amount that beneficiaries get varies depending on their circumstances. The government will conduct an ESA assessment to determine the amount that you can get. One of the top considerations is your work history, which determines if you will get the income-related or contributory ESA. If you had a steady income in the past, chances are that you have the meet the requirements for the contribution-based allowance. You can still apply for the allowance if you have never been employed. In this case, you will get the income-related allowance.

The next consideration is your current state of health. The government will require you to take a Work Capability Assessment after applying for the allowance. The purpose of this assessment is to determine if you can get a job in the future and if you qualify for ESA. Sites such as www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org will be useful as they provide extra information about the assessments as well as guidance for people struggling with mental health. If the results of the assessment show that you can get a stable job in the future, you will get advice on ESA.

The government will place you in a work-related activity group if you have a chance of getting a job. You may lose your benefits if you do not attend group meetings regularly. If you have limited chances of working, the government places you in a support group.

Who Qualifies for ESA?

To benefit from any type of ESA, you must be dealing with a condition that affects your ability to work and be under State Pension age. In addition, you must be not claiming the Statutory Sick Pay, Income Support, or Job Seeker’s Allowance. Additional requirements for the income-related ESA include low or no income and no claim on Universal Credit. Your savings should not exceed £16,000.

How Much Money Will You Get?

Employment and support allowance rates vary according to your age and individual condition. If you are below 25 years, you will get up to £57.90 per week as you undergo the assessment. You get up to £73.10 if you are 25 years and above. After the assessment, the government will place you in either the work-related group or the support group. If you are in the work-related group, you qualify for up to £102.15 per week. Otherwise, you will get up to £ 109.30 if you are in the support group. If you qualify for the income-related ESA, you may get an additional £15.75 every week.

How to Claim

The first step to claim is to call the ESA phone line at 0800 055 6688 between 8 am and 6 pm. Calls to this line are free. You can also send a message to 0800 023 4888. You will be required to answer several questions as the receiver fills a form on your behalf. Alternatively, you can download the form from gov.uk, fill it in, and send it to the Jobcentre Plus in your area.

You will be required provide a medical certificate from your general practitioner and the practitioner’s contacts. If you are unsure about your eligibility or the process of making a claim, ask for advice from your local Age UK. After the application, the government will conduct the ESA assessment and place you in the relevant group. The process of claiming ESA may take up to 13 weeks.


If you are suffering from any medical condition or disability that affects your ability to work, you can get some financial relief by applying for ESA. You will get financial assistance while the government assesses your situation and eligibility.

Remember that you get help even if you have never worked or made any National Insurance contributions. You may get additional benefits to help you with medical bills if you are placed in the support group. You can ask further questions about the allowance while making a claim or get advice from your local age UK.