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Employment Support Allowance

Helping you make ends meet

If you are unable to work because you are ill or disabled, you may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Please note. If you live in Sedgemoor, Mendip, West Somerset or Taunton Deane Districts, ESA may have been replaced by Universal Credit – please use the postcode checker.

If you claim ESA you will have a Work Capability Assessment (WCA) to see to what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work. The result of the WCA will determine which one of two groups you will be placed in to continue your ESA claim.

One is a work-related activity group, where you will have regular interviews with a Jobcentre Plus Work Coach to help you prepare for work. The other is a support group where you do not automatically get this help, usually because your illness or disability severely limits what you can do.

If the result of the WCA is you are fit for some work, you will be asked to claim Jobseekers Allowance (JSA).

Contribution-based ESA

Contribution-based ESA is called ‘New Style ESA’ in Universal Credit areas. It will be paid for one year if you’re in the work-related activity group but there’s no time limit on how long you can claim if you’re in the support group. Please see the GOV.UK website for more.

Income-related ESA

You may qualify for income-related ESA if you do not or no longer qualify for contribution-based ESA.

How much you get depends on your circumstances. There’s no time limit on income-related ESA

Please see the GOV.UK website for more.

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