ESA Frequently Asked Questions
If you are a new claimant or are currently claiming ESA there are some very common questions which are asked on a regular basis. In order to help you understand the ESA process better, we have collated these questions and provided the answers below
- HOW MUCH MONEY WILL I RECEIVE ON EMPLOYMENT AND SUPPORT ALLOWANCE (ESA)?
The amount of money that successful applicants of ESA can receive is subject to alteration throughout the course of the benefit. Regular assessments will be taken during the length of your benefit application and the outcome of these could affect the amount of money that you are entitled to. The standard initial payments are set out as follows:
For the first 13 weeks:
- £56.80 for those 25 and under
- £71.70 for those 25 and older
After a period of 13 weeks you should have undergone your initial assessment and if you have been deemed eligible to continue you with the benefit, your payments will continue as follows:
Payments made after 13 weeks:
- £100.15 for work related ESA payments
- £106.50 for support group related payments
- ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ESA?
ESA has been separated into two different categories:
- Contribution-based – which is linked to the number of National Insurance contributions you have been credited with.
- Income-related – which is (a) either paid in addition to any contribution-based National Insurance contributions, or (b) paid if you do not have the relevant number of contributions, and if your income is low.
- CAN I APPLY IF I AM UNEMPLOYED, EMPLOYED OR SELF-EMPLOYED?
Yes, all categories are acceptable.
- WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO FILE A CLAIM?
You will need your National Insurance number, your medical certificate and doctors address details. Your rent or property ownership documents, a recent bill from the council tax department, your recent bank statements and details of any benefits you are on, along with the details of any other money you have coming in. Full details of everything that you will need to apply are listed on this website via this link.
- HOW LONG IS CONTRIBUTION-BASED BENEFIT PAID FOR? If you are in the group where your classification is a work-related group then it is paid for the period of one year, however you may be entitled to receive it again. When your contribution-based benefit finishes there is a potential for you to make another application after the minimum of 12 weeks has expired. The criteria for application will depend on a number of factors including (a) your record of paid NI contributions in certain tax years, and (b) if your classification changes to the support group due to deteriorating health.
- WILL I HAVE TO ATTEND A WORK CAPABILITY ASSESSMENT? Yes, the work capability assessment is mandatory and has been designed to determine the degree of your disability or illness, as well as the impact that it could have on your work. After undergoing the assessment phase, you will be notified in writing about whether this assessment will be affecting your future claim.
- WHAT CAN I DO IF MY BENEFIT HAS BEEN SANCTIONED?
Sanctioning benefits such as ESA has increasingly been on the rise in the UK over the past twelve months. In fact reports have recently stated that increases in sanctions have risen over 350% in 2014. Up to March, over 26,000 claimants have been sanctioned for their ESA claim. These sanctions have been introduced in order to ensure that the system is not being abused by those who are fraudulently claiming or missing important meetings. Obviously this is a situation that you would wish to avoid, however if your benefit has been sanctioned and you continue to struggle keeping up with essential financial commitments, there is an avenue that you can go down. You could potentially apply for a Hardship payment from the DWP (Department of Work and Pensions). If you have failed to attend an interview or you have had your ESA benefit stopped for any reason, the first step you should take is to call the customer service team on the ESA Contact Number listed on this page, from there you will be able to discuss with an advisor your next step towards getting your benefit reinstated including the potential of a Hardship Payment whilst you are under review. Call the customer service team on 0843 515 9427.
WHAT HOURS IS THE ESA PHONE NUMBER OPEN?
- Lines are open from Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.
All of the above information and a full list of all ESA Contact Phone Numbers and postal addresses can be found freely within the Public Domain.
ESA Contact Number
0843 515 9427