If you are ill or disabled, the Employment and Support Allowance or ESA is a way to get financial support and personalised help depending on your circumstances. You can apply for it if you are employed, self-employed or unemployed and you can be transferred to this benefit from others such as Income Support or Incapacity Benefit. But how much can you get?
The application process
The amount of ESA that you will receive depends on your details and circumstances, so each person can be a little different. But there are some standard amounts to give you an idea of what you might receive.
Before you start receiving any benefit, there is an application process that you can do online or by using the ESA Contact Number. This is followed by the assessment phrase which can last anywhere from 13 weeks to a longer period where a decision is made about how much you will get.
The standard amounts at the moment include:
- £73.10 a week if you are 25 or over and will remain the same during the assessment period
- £57.90 a week if you are under 25 and will remain the same during the assessment period
If you are a carer or have a severe disability, then you could receive an extra payment known as a ‘premium’.
You can also apply for income-related ESA if you are a couple and the standard amount you will receive is £114.85. However, if one of the couple is under the age of 18 you will receive a smaller amount.
After the assessment phase
If the DWP decide that you are not fit for work because you have a limited capability for work, then you will either be placed in a support group or a work-related activity group.
This entitles you to £109.65 a week currently. You will be placed in this group if the DWP decide you are not well enough for work and that you are not well enough to helped to improve your chances of getting work in the future.
You may also receive income-related ESA at an extra £15.90 a week, which is known as Enhanced Disability Premium. For couples, this amount is increased to £22.85. if you were getting a premium at some point during the assessment phase as a carer or someone with a severe disability, then this payment will continue after it. You are able to claim this benefit as long as you need it.
Work-related activity group
If you have never claimed ESA before, you will get up to £73.10 a week when placed in this group. This might be as high as £102.15 if you are already on ESA or have been moved there from other benefits such as Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disability Allowance or Income Support.
You are placed in this group if the DWP decide you are not well enough to work but are well enough to get help to improve your chances of getting some work at some point in the future. After the assessment, extra money can be backdated to the 14th week of your claim.
If you received a premium during the assessment phrase, this will continue. If you get contribution based ESA, it will continue for 12 months. After this you might:
- Qualify for income-related ESA
- Be able to apply for contribution based ESA again as long as 12 weeks have passed since your last period ended
- Quality for contribution based ESA if your health worsens and you are reassessed into the support group
You can also find out more about the assessment process and other information about ESA on the government’s website.