How To Claim Employment and Support Allowance


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ESA or Employment and Support Allowance refers to a benefit that aids people who cannot work either due to a disability or a debilitating illness. There are basically 2 types that you can claim namely Income and Contribution based ESA.

The latter is taxable and you can acquire it if you have enough National Insurance Payments and you can pay the latter if you don’t have an income or low income to support yourself. Income based ESA does not require insurance payments and it is not taxable either.

The ESA is beneficial for those who are unable to support themselves by offering financial support and personalised aid to help you get back on your feet with appropriate employment. You can also apply for it if you are self-employed and employed and you can also be transferred to it if you are benefiting from Income Support.


Claiming ESA

The fastest way to claim this benefit is via phone and the numbers you call will depend on the type of Employment and Support Allowance you need.  You can contact the contact centre for the aforementioned claims.

Fill out the form and submit to your local Job Centre to get the process started. Or you can just call the contact centre and ask which other formats can be used. Common ones include forms with larger print, braille and audio. In order to claim any of these you need to be at least under the State Pension age or have a disability or illness that prevents you from working to support yourself. In addition, you cannot claim this benefit if you are already claiming:

  • Income Support
  • Sick Pay
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance

If you have savings amounting to more than £16,000, you are not eligible for ESA either.

In order to prove your eligibility, you need to undergo a medical examination called a Work Capability Assessment. As the name implies, this test will determine whether your disability or your illness is serious enough to prevent you from working. If you are not considered fit for employment, you will be entitled to this claim.

Once you are, you will be placed in either the support or the work-related group depending on your ailments. Those who fall under the former are excused from the benefit cap and those in the latter do not get as much money in the hopes that they will eventually return to the job market and start supporting themselves. If this is not done within a specific time period, the money will be reduced for a certain period of time.

If you can claim ESA, you can also claim other benefits such as Council Tax Reduction as well as housing benefits and get aid for covering your health expenses.


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