Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people who have illnesses or disabilities that make it hard for them to work

If you do not earn enough to qualify for SSP or you are off work for more than 28 weeks, you may qualify for Employment and Support Allowance.

There are three types of ESA and you may be able to receive one or both, depending on your circumstances:

  • ‘new style’ ESA
  • contributory Employment and Support Allowance 
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance

Full details of the types of ESA, eligibility, how much you will receive and how to claim are available at GOV.UK.

Further information on ESA is available from

A downloadable explanatory leaflet detailing the support available and what you neeed to do while claiming ESA is available from GOV.UK.

You can claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance online or by phoning 0800 328 5644 (textphone: 0800 328 1344).

Benefit Cap

ESA counts towards the Benefit Cap. Your Housing Benefit may go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level. 

For details on the Benefit Cap follow this link.

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is currently being rolled out across the UK.

Depending where you live and what your personal circumstances are, you might be able to claim UC instead of ESA.

For a full explanation of Universal Credit follow this link.

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