If you have a serious illness or are considered disabled, then you can get financial benefits from the United Kingdom’s program, the Employment and Support Allowance. This program will give you financial help if you are not able to work due to your disability or illness, and you can also get help for finding opportunities for work if you are physically able to do so. You can apply for and receive Employment Support Allowance if you are disabled or sick and employed, self-employed, or unemployed.
If you fill out an application to claim ESA, you will have to complete a work capability assessment. This assessment is to measure your level of illness and disability and see if you really are unable to work as you claim in the application. If you do qualify for ESA, you will be placed in one of the two following groups: there is a work-related activity group. This group means that you will have regular sit-downs with an advisor who will continuously help with the next steps. The other group is a support group where you get the benefits without having to do the interviews because your illness or disability is so severe.
If you do qualify for ESA and are offered its benefits there are several things that you will get, but the number of benefits you receive is dependent on your income, the type of ESA that you were approved for, and where you are in the Work Capability Assessment process. The ESA website at https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance has a calculator in which you can figure out how much you will get in benefits based on your unique circumstances.
Once you are approved for ESA, you will receive your assessment roughly 13 weeks later. After your assessment, you will get an amount of 57.9 pounds a week if you are under the age of 25, and if you are 25 or older you will receive 73.1 pounds. On top of that, you will receive 73 pounds if you are put into a work-related activity group, and 110.75 pounds if you are in a support group.
There is a benefit cap for ESA which puts a limit on the number of benefits that you can get, and that number applies to people who are 16 years old or older but are still under the State Pension age. The benefit cap may not affect the individual benefits you get, but it will affect the total amount you get in benefits. The cap does not apply to you if you are placed in the support group.
You will get benefits from the Employment Support Allowance for up to 165 days if you are placed into the work-related activity group, but there is no time limit for getting benefits if you are in the support group or if you are also placed on the income-based ESA.
There are 3 types of ESA: new style, contribution based, and income based. The type you get is based on your circumstances.
There are several things that can be overwhelming to understand about the ESA, so for any extra help you need, call the Employment Support Allowance helpline for answers to any questions you have or assistance in making a claim.