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Last updated:
13/11/2017

Am I eligible for Employment & Support Allowance (ESA)?

How can I claim?

  1. Overview
  2. What is ESA?
  3. How can I claim?
  4. What is the Work Capability Assessment?
  5. What are the groups of ESA?
  6. What is the Work Programme?
  7. What work am I permitted to do on ESA?
  8. Can I appeal if I think the decision about ESA is wrong?
  9. Next steps

You can telephone Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 6688 to start your claim. An adviser will ask you for the following information, and some other more detailed questions:

  • Name, address, date of birth and telephone numbers
  • National Insurance number
  • Mortgage or landlord details
  • Council tax details
  • A brief explanation of your illness or disability
  • Name, address and telephone number of your GP
  • Details of other benefits you claim
  • Details of any work you have done
  • Bank account details.

You will need a fit note from your GP to start your claim.

If you do not want to claim by phone, you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to send you a claim form or you can download a ESA1 form online and take it to your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

A carer, friend or relative can call the DWP or fill in the form for you if you require assistance.

A carer, friend or relative can call the DWP or fill in the form for you if you require assistance. However, you will need to be with them when they make the calls, just so you can give them permission to speak for you.

In some areas, you have to claim a new benefit called Universal Credit instead of income-related ESA.

Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. What is ESA?
  3. How can I claim?
  4. What is the Work Capability Assessment?
  5. What are the groups of ESA?
  6. What is the Work Programme?
  7. What work am I permitted to do on ESA?
  8. Can I appeal if I think the decision about ESA is wrong?
  9. Next steps

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