Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) offers support and financial help so you can do suitable work if you are able to.
It gives you access to an Employment Service Adviser and services including employment, training and condition management support to help you manage your illness or disability at work.
For more information about ESA, visit the nidirect website.
Am I eligible for ESA?
You may be able to claim ESA if any of the following apply:
- your Statutory Sick Pay has ended or you cannot get it
- you are employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student on Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
- you have been getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and have not gone back to work for your employer because you have an illness or disability which affects your ability to work
- you are under State Pension age
- you are not getting Jobseeker’s Allowance
You must also either:
- have had an illness or disability which affects your ability to work
- be unable to work for two or more days out of seven consecutive days
- be getting special medical treatment
What type of ESA could I receive?
There are three types of ESA:
- new style
‘New style’ ESA
If you are claiming or have made a claim to Universal Credit you may be entitled to ESA, known as ‘new style’ ESA.
‘New style’ ESA works in the same way as contribution-based ESA. Your partner’s income and savings won’t affect how much new style ESA you’re paid.
You can get new style ESA on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If you get both at the same time, your new style ESA payment will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment – you aren’t guaranteed to get any extra money.
You may be entitled to this if you have paid enough National Insurance contributions.
You may be entitled to income-related ESA if you do not have enough money coming in or you have not paid enough National Insurance contributions, and you satisfy the entitlement conditions.
This means that you have savings of less than £16,000 and if you have a partner or civil partner, they work for less than 24 hours a week on average.
Universal Credit is replacing income-related ESA. New claims for Income-related ESA can only be made in certain circumstances. You can speak to our Welfare Advice Officers if you would like to know more about this.
How do I claim ESA?
Our Welfare Advice Officers can help with ESA applications:
Telephone: 028 7130 4800
Office hours: 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday
Alternatively you can phone or textphone the ESA Centre and an adviser will talk through the application with you and fill in the form on your behalf or advise where you can download the application form, complete and return via post.
ESA Centre: ESA Centre Contact Details