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Employment & Support
Allowance (ESA)

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Employment Support Allowance or ESA is a bi-weekly payment for those with a disability or health condition that limits how much they can work. Not everyone can manage a full-time role due to mental health, physical disability, chronic pain or fatigue and similar disabilities and disorders. The ESA helps to top up your pay to improve living standards for those who cannot work and those who are limited in the amount they can work. 

ESA also has a support programme for you to participate in to help you work with your disability or health condition.

You can also apply for Universal Credit while you are receiving ESA.


Practical Help For ESA Applications

If you are working but cannot manage a full-time role, need special support to carry out a work placement, or cannot work at all, then Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) could be worth you looking into.  


Disability Support Project offers a more practical level of support with ESA applications with the following services:

ESA - Eligibility

You may be able eligible for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA) if you meet the following criteria:

  • Worked as an employee or have been self-employed.

  • Paid enough National Insurance (typically over a 2-3 year period) or National Insurance Credit.

For EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, you and your family will typically need settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme to be eligible for ESA.

You cannot get the new ESA if you:

  • Are on Job Seekers Allowance.  

  • Are claiming statutory sick pay. 

ESA - Statutory Sick Pay:

You can claim for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) up to 3 months before your statutory sick pay is due to end. 

This is sensible if you know you will be affected by a health condition or disability for the long term. 

ESA - How much can you receive?

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is paid out in two stages:

During your application/assessment process you can expect to receive:

  • Up to £59.20 / week if you are under 25 years old.

  • Up to £74.70 / week if you are 25 years or older.


After your claim has been processed and should you be successful, you will be put into a work-related activities group or support group and can expect to receive:


  • Up to £74.70 / week if you are under 25 years old.

  • Up to £114.10 / week if you are 25 years or older.

If you have £6000 or more in savings, this may affect how much you can receive. Your ESA will be backdated if you are owed any money after the assessment period / 13 weeks. 

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Need help with your application? - see our Suggested Donations List for this service.

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