How much you get depends on your personal circumstances but you might be able to claim up to £110.75 per week, or £5,759 per year. WORKERS who have an illness or disability may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
It is available for those in work, out of work, and the self-employed. Here we explain how it works, how much you can claim, how it’s affected by the Universal Credit rollout, and what number you need to call to apply for it.
What is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?
If you are ill or disabled and this affects your ability to work, you may be able to claim weekly payments with ESA.
There are three types of ESA you can apply for:
Income-related ESA, available to those on a low income who have not made enough National Insurance contributions
Contributory ESA, for those who have paid enough National Insurance
‘New style’ ESA, for those claiming Universal Credit
The kind of ESA you can claim for and how much you’ll receive depends on your own circumstances.
Income-related ESA is means tested, so your needs, and those of your partner if you have one, are compared to your income and savings when working out how much money you’re entitled to.
Contributory ESA and the new style ESA are not means tested. They are based on the amount of National Insurance you have paid in the previous two years. For these two, your partner’s savings and income are not taken into account.
To claim for ESA you’ll need a Work Capacity Assessment
In order to receive any kind of ESA you need to first undergo what’s called a “Work Capability Assessment”.
This is carried out to see how your illness or disability affects your ability to work. Once it’s been completed you will then be put into one of two groups and this affects how much you will receive.
If you’re put into the “work-related activity group”, you’ll have regular interviews with an employment adviser to improve your skills and prospects of getting a job or progressing in your current position.
Your payments may be temporarily stopped or reduced if you don’t attend one of these meetings, and they can be stopped for up to four weeks after you’ve restarted the meetings.