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What is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

What is Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a welfare payment available for people who are unable to work or are difficulty finding work as a result of a long-term medical issue or disability. You may be able to claim ESA if you are unable to work after a serious injury. It offers financial support alongside help to allow you to work if you’re able to do so.

To claim ESA, you will need to have a Work Capacity Assessment by completing a Capability to work questionnaire and attending an assessment. You will receive a letter advising you where to attend your assessment and what to do. This assessment will determine to what extent you are unable to work as a result of your injuries.

If you are entitled to ESA, you will then be placed into one of two groups:

  • Work-related activity group – you will have to attend regular interviews with an advisor.
  • Support group – you will not be required to attend regular interviews.

How much ESA will I get?

The amount you receive in ESA will depend on several things, including:

  • The circumstances you are in, including your income (and the income of your partner), savings and pension income.
  • The type of ESA you are eligible for.
  • At what point in the assessment process you are.

You can calculate the amount of ESA you may be eligible for using the government benefits calculator.

How can I apply for ESA?

You should apply for ESA by telephone. Depending on the type of ESA you are applying for, will depend on the number you call. You can find out about the different types of ESA available here.

‘New style’ ESA

  • Telephone: 0800 328 5644
  • Textphone: 0800 328 1344
  • Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

Contribution-based and income-related ESA

  • Telephone: 0800 055 6688
  • Textphone: 0800 023 4888
  • NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 055 6688
  • Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

You can also apply for ESA by completing an ESA1 form and taking this to your local Jobcentre Plus office.

To make a claim for ESA, you will need the following information to hand:

  • Your National Insurance number.
  • Your fit note (or sick note).
  • The name and address of your GP.
  • Contact numbers for yourself (including home and mobile).
  • Details of your mortgage or your landlord if you are in rented accommodation.
  • Your council tax bill.
  • The name and contact details (including phone number and address) of your employer, as well as your dates of employment.
  • Your bank account or building society details.
  • Details of other benefits you are claiming or sick pay you are receiving.

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau offer support and guidance in how to apply for ESA, along with details about completing the ESA1 form.

About CFG Law and claiming compensation

If you are struggling financially after an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to claim compensation to help ease the burden. At CFG Law, we are specialist serious injury solicitors, who provide legal advice together with financial, physical and emotional support.

We can help you with benefits advice and applications, and can also provide input should you need to appeal any decision on benefits. We also have an emergency fund that can help to ease the strain before any payments of benefits.

Download our ebook for essential tips and guidance on choosing a solicitor

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