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The Employment and Support Allowance can offer financial aid if you are unable to work and can tailor make personal help for you, so you’ll be able to work if you are able to.
There are no restrictions on employment status, so you can apply if you’re unemployed, self employed or employed by someone else.
Whilst your claim is being processed, you will need to have a Work Capability Assessment to see the type of help you will need and how much.
If your claim is successful, you’ll be in one of two groups. The first is a support group where you won’t go through interviews and the second is activity group (work related) – here you will be interviewed regularly.
Frequently asked questions when calling the ESA contact phone number
What will I get if my claim is successful?
This is dependent on your situation and your abilities and could also be effected by your income.
What you get will also be based on which group you fall under and where you are in the assessment procedure.
There is financial support available and this varies depending on your age too. Under 25 year olds and over 25 year olds get different rates and the rate is also lower during the thirteen week assessment period. Call the ESA telephone number to discuss your details.
What are the different types of ESA?
There are two categories here:
- Income related ESA – mostly on it’s own or on top of Contribution based ESA if you have a low income.
- Contribution based ESA – usually applied if you have contributed to National Insurance for long enough.
The Income related ESA will be paid depending on your circumstances and you could drop to this level after Contribution based once your National Insurance credit runs out.
Contribution based ESA lasts for a year, but you could re-apply after a 12 week period.
How will I be paid?
You can get paid the same way all benefits are paid – directly to your bank account. To find out how regularly you’ll be paid, give the ESA advisors a call.
How do I know of I’m eligible?
You could be eligible if your illness or disability affects your work and productivity.
Also if you’re:
- Not on JSA (Jobseekers Allowance)
- Not getting Statutory Maternity Pay
- Not getting Statutory Sick Pay
- Under pension age
If you fulfil these criteria and feel that you have a valid case to make a claim. Please call the ESA and make an application. You will then be notified by letter about when your assessment is booked for. From there you will be divided into one of the groups that is appropriate to your situation.
Can I claim whilst working?
Yes you can, but this could affect the amount of financial aid you get.
If you earn up to £20 a week or work less than sixteen hours a week and earn up to £104 per week, then your ESA won’t be affected. More than this will result in the funding being reduced.
You need to Notify the ESA as soon as your circumstances change in any way.
What is ESA and what does it stand for?
ESA stands for Employment and Support Allowance. It is provided if you are not capable of having a job or finding employment. You may receive financial support as well as help that is personal to you to help you find employment. Call the Employment and Support Allowance number above to begin the application process.
I am self employed, can I still claim ESA?
There are many people who can claim it, and this goes for those who are unemployed, self-employed, and if you’re employed too. Call the Employment and Support Allowance contact number to discuss your situation.
How much money will I get from ESA?
How much financial support you receive in the form of Employment and Support Allowance is dependent on several factors, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. However, it is fair to say that how much you receive depends on how much income you currently have, other personal circumstances, and what form of ESA you qualify for.
Financial support can also depend on your age. If you are under twenty-five years of age then you can expect to receive up to a maximum of close to fifty-eight pounds per week.
If you are age twenty five or above, then this increases by twenty pounds or so a week up to a maximum of seventy three pounds and ten pence per week. This is called the ‘assessment rate’ and it is given while your claim is undergoing assessment and eligibility checking.
Following this, if your claim is successful and you are deemed to qualify for ESA, then you will be placed in one of two categories. The first category receives up to seventy three pounds and ten pence per week. The second category receives up to a maximum of one hundred and nine pounds, sixty-five pence per week.
Contact ESA to discuss your situation and determine your eligibility.
Are there any additional payments for disabilities?
Yes, if you are placed into the support category for ESA, and you have a disability, you may receive up to an extra fifteen pounds and ninety pence per week, which is known as an enhanced disability premium.
If you are dealing with a severe disability then this figure increases again, and you might qualify for something known as the severe disability premium, which is an additional sixty two pounds and forty-five pence per week.
Do I have to go to job interviews to keep my ESA payments?
This depends on which category you’re in. If you’re in the group called work-related activity group, then to keep your claim you will be required to go to job interviews as well as have regular scheduled meetings with a worker who can help you to find meaningful employment, as well as work on your skills and identify your goals for work.
If you’re in the second group, known as the support group, this is usually the result of a disability or illness which means it is neither practical nor possible for you to work. However, while it is optional, you may still meet with an advisory worker but you will not be required to go to interviews to maintain your allowance.
I have ESA but I still can’t afford to cover my expenses, is there anything I can do?
Yes, it’s possible that you will qualify for a hardship payment if you are unable to pay for some basic necessities like food, heating, rent or more. It is worth noting that you cannot apply for a hardship payment if you are under eighteen years of age.
If you are eighteen or above then you may be able to claim a hardship payment to help you cover these costs. In order to find out if you qualify or are able to get a hardship payment you may need to speak to the closest Jobcentre Plus advisor or call the ESA number on this page.
How do I receive ESA?
It is paid directly into your bank account, into a credit union account, or into a building society depending on which of them you use. The payment is made automatically.
What happens if there’s a bank holiday? Will I still receive ESA?
Yes, there are preparations so that if the last working day of the calendar month is a bank holiday and banks are closed, you will receive your allowance and any other benefits the final working day before the bank holiday, and so you do not need to feel concerned that your benefit will not be paid.
How long does ESA last?
This is a complex question as there are two types of ESA. The first type is what’s known as an ESA based on contribution. If you’re in the group based on working activity then this kind of ESA will only last for one year.
After this there may be a period of twelve weeks before you are eligible to reapply for ESA. If you are eligible to apply may depend on if you now qualify for the second, support category, or whether you have paid enough national insurance payments for the year.
If you’re in the second category, the ‘support’ category, then there is no effective time limit on the duration that you can claim ESA, you may be able to continue claiming it indefinitely.
The second type is similar to Universal Credit, and is a new kind of payment. You can qualify for universal credit if you are unmarried (single) or you are in a registered couple or family who lives in one of the applicable areas for Universal Credit.
The new ESA works similarly to the first, contribution type of ESA. Your partner’s salary, income, and savings, do not affect the financial support that you receive.
The best way to determine what you qualify for is to call the ESA contact number and speak with a specialist.
I’m getting Jobseeker’s Allowance – can I still get ESA?
No, part of the eligibility criteria means that if you’re currently receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance then you will not be able to qualify for ESA. If you are currently receiving sick pay (SSP) or you’re in the process of receiving maternity pay (SMP) then you also will not be able to claim your allowance.
You must also be below the age to withdraw a state pension in order to qualify for the financial aid, so you must consider these criteria before applying to obtain ESA.
Can I still work while getting ESA?
You can do some kinds of specific work but it must fall within certain criteria, as stated by the UK Government online. You may not have your allowance affected if you earn below one hundred and twenty pounds per week, or if you work less than sixteen hours per week. Call ESA if you have additional queries.
What savings affects ESA?
If you have savings in excess of 6,000 GBP then you may not be able to qualify for ESA or equally it might affect how much ESA you are eligible to receive. If this is your situation you may wish to speak to an advisor for further information by calling the ESA phone number above.