Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit provided by the UK government to people who have limited capability for work due to illness or disability. It is intended to provide financial support for those who are unable to work or have limited capacity to work due to their health condition.

To be eligible for ESA, you must be at least 16 years old, not receiving Statutory Sick Pay, and have a health condition that affects your ability to work. There are two types of ESA: contributory ESA and income-related ESA.

Contributory ESA is based on your National Insurance contributions and is not means-tested. Income-related ESA takes into account your income and savings, as well as your partner's income if you have one. Both types of ESA can include extra amounts if you have a severe disability or you need help with daily living.

To apply for ESA, you will need to complete an application form and provide medical evidence to support your claim. Your eligibility for ESA will be assessed through a Work Capability Assessment (WCA), which looks at your ability to carry out various work-related activities. You will also be required to attend a face-to-face assessment with a healthcare professional.

The amount of ESA you receive depends on your individual circumstances and which type of ESA you are eligible for. The amount can also vary depending on any extra amounts you may be entitled to, such as the severe disability premium or the enhanced disability premium.

If you are awarded ESA, you will be required to attend regular appointments to review your condition and your ability to work. You may also be offered support to help you manage your health condition and improve your chances of returning to work if possible.