For the first 13 weeks after you claim, you will usually get the assessment rate, which is £57.90 a week if you are under the age of 25 or £73.10 if you are 25 and over. After the 13 weeks is over, you will be transferred to one of two groups. If you are put in the work-related activity group, you will receive £102.15 a week. If you are in the support group, you will get £109.30 a week. If you are in the latter and your ESA is income-related, you will also be able to get an enhanced disability premium which is £15.75 a week.
There are two types of ESA payments; income-related ESA and contributions-based ESA.
Contributions based ESA
This type of ESA lasts for a minimum of a year if you are in the work-related activity group. You can apply again 12 weeks after the period ends and you might qualify for the benefit again depending on how much National Insurance contributions you have made in the last 2/3 years. If you are in the support group, the time limit does not apply.
The amount of ESA you get is based on your circumstances. You might qualify for this type of ESA if you don’t qualify for contributions based ESA anymore.
The easiest way to claim ESA is to call the phone number at the top of the page where an advisor will be waiting to help you. You will need to have the following information to hand: National Insurance number, GP address and phone number, medical certificate, contact telephone numbers, council tax bill, details of your mortgage/landlord, your employer’s address, bank account information and information about any other money you receive, for example, sick pay or benefits. If you are rejected for your claim, you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration. If this is unsuccessful, you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, who will make an executive decision.
Your ESA will be paid in the same way as other benefits in that it goes directly into a bank account or a building society account. If your payment date falls on a bank holiday, you will be paid on the last working day before the bank holiday occurs.
When you apply for ESA, you will be asked to take part in a work capability assessment so that it can be decided which group to place you in. You must initially fill in a capability to work questionnaire before the assessment. The assessment is nothing to worry about as it is just an opportunity to see what you can do so that you get the right support. Following the assessment, you will be placed in either the work-related activity group or the support group. If you are in the work-related activity group, you will need to attend regular interviews with a personal advisor allocated to you, to discuss how you can improve your skills and set employment goals. If you’re in the support group, you won’t need to attend the interviews. Often, you will be in the support group if your illness or disability restricts what you can do in terms of working. If you don’t go to the assessment, your benefit will be stopped.
About Employment And Support Allowance
Employment And Support Allowance, or ESA, is a state benefit from the UK government that was introduced in October 2008, to replace Incapacity Benefit, Income support benefit that was paid because of an illness or disability and Severe Disablement Allowance.
ESA can be awarded as either contributory or income-related. This means that you are able to make a claim even if you haven’t paid enough in National Insurance Contributions. Income-related ESA is subjected to being means-tested as well as meeting other condition.
Popular questions about ESA
Why is my ESA payment late?
Your ESA payment could be late for a number of reasons, it could be because you haven’t filled in a form or attended an assessment, or it is being recalculated due to the new tax year. There could also simply be a glitch in the computer system. Contact the ESA team using the number on this page to find out why your payment was late.
ESA: What happens after a year?
If you have been in the work-related group for a year and you receive contributions based ESA, you may be moved to the support group or able to submit a new claim after 12 weeks, depending on your situation. You may also be moved to income-related benefits- it all depends on your individual circumstance. If your condition worsens, you will be moved to the support group.
Where are ESA appeals held?
If you appeal an ESA decision and it reaches the point where the case must be heard by a Judge, this usually occurs in a hotel or similar location.
If you wish to find out more information about claiming ESA, or you have an issue with an incorrect or late payment, call the ESA contact number on this page.