Employment and Support Allowance

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'New Style' Contributory Employment and Support Allowance: Who can claim?

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) has changed to a new contribution-based benefit called Contributory ESA.

To be eligible to make a claim you must satisfy all of the conditions below:

• You must be aged at least 16 and under state pension age (the age at which you can claim the State Retirement Pension)
• You must be in Great Britain.
• You must have a ‘fit’ note from your doctor (You can 'self-certify' for the first seven days, but after that, you will need to be covered by a 'fit' (sick) note from your GP until you have undergone the Work Capability Assessment.)
• You Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer must have ended - ESA cannot be paid for the same period as SSP. A claim for ESA can be made in advance of SSP expiring (SSP lasts for 28 weeks), but the award will not start until SSP has ended. You will need to provide an SSP1 form from their employer to confirm the date SSP ended.

National Insurance

To qualify for Contributory ESA, you must satisfy the National Insurance rules – please ask the benefits advice team to check if new style ESA or Universal Credit is open to you.

We're here to help

It can be confusing so If you need help with your claim get in touch using the form below or call our Benefits and Energy Advice Team on 0330 303 3000 and one of our benefits advisors will call you.

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