Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Report a change of circumstances

You need to report changes to your circumstances so you keep getting the right amount of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Your claim might be stopped or reduced if you do not report a change straight away.

A change of circumstance can include:

  • starting or stopping work, education, training or an apprenticeship
  • moving house
  • changing your name
  • people moving into or out of the place you live (for example your partner or a child)
  • changes to the benefits you or anyone else in your house gets
  • changes to your pension, savings, investments or property
  • changes to other money you get (for example student loans or grants, sick pay or money you get from a charity)
  • changing your doctor
  • any changes to your medical condition or disability
  • going into hospital or a care home or sheltered accommodation
  • going abroad for any length of time

Call the ESA helpline if you’re not sure whether you need to report a change.

You may be prosecuted or have to pay a £50 penalty if you give wrong or incomplete information, or do not report changes straight away.

How to report

You can report a change of circumstances by:

  • calling the ESA helpline
  • writing to the Jobcentre Plus office that pays your ESA - the address is on the letters you get about your ESA

ESA and ‘new style’ ESA helpline
Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

If you’re claiming Universal Credit as well as ‘new style’ ESA, you must report changes to both services.

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service

To use this, you’ll need to:

  1. Check you can use the service.

  2. Go to the video relay service.

The video relay service is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm.

If you’re in Northern Ireland contact the ESA Centre.

If you’ve been paid too much

If you do not report a change straight away or give wrong or incomplete information, you might be paid too much. If you are, you might have to pay some of the money back.