Employment Support Allowance
This section aims to provide information about the out of work benefit called Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). It will explain who the benefit is aimed at, how the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are reassessing people receiving the old-style sickness benefits for ESA, the different types of ESA, how you will be assessed, how to challenge a decision you do not agree with and how you may claim the benefit on behalf of someone else.
- ESA is paid to people who have ‘limited capability for work’.
- To start a claim for ESA you need a note from your GP to confirm that you are not fit for work.
- You are then asked to take part in a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) so the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can decide whether you are eligible for ESA.
- If you are eligible for ESA you will be placed into either the ‘Work Related Activity Group’ or the ‘Support Group’.
- If you are in the Work Related Activity Group you have to attend meetings with a personal adviser to discuss and prepare for an eventual return to work.
- If you are placed in the Support Group you don’t have to prepare for a return to work but you can if you want to.
- If the DWP decide that you don’t qualify for ESA then you will be expected to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).
- If you disagree with any of the decisions the DWP make you have the right to ask them to look at the decision again or lodge an official appeal.
This section covers:
Last reviewed in March 2013. Next review March 2014.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 10am - 2pm, not including bank holidays