5. How to claim

The quickest way to apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is by phone.

The number you call depends on whether you’re eligible for Universal Credit.

If you’re eligible for Universal Credit

If you’re eligible for Universal Credit, call the service centre to apply for ‘new style ESA’.

Service centre
Telephone: 0345 600 0723

Textphone: 0345 600 0743

Welsh language: 0345 600 3018

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find out about call charges

Alternative formats

Call the service centre to ask for alternative or accessible formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

If you’re not eligible for Universal Credit

If you’re not eligible for Universal Credit, call the contact centre.

Contact centre
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Welsh language telephone: 0800 012 1888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
Find out about call charges

You can also fill in and print out the ESA1 form and send or take it to your local Jobcentre Plus office.

Alternative formats

Call the contact centre to ask for alternative or accessible formats, such as braille, large print or audio CD.

There’s a different way to apply in Northern Ireland.

What you need to claim

You’ll need the following when you make a claim:

  • National Insurance number
  • medical certificate
  • GP’s address and phone number
  • home and mobile telephone numbers
  • mortgage or landlord details
  • council tax bill
  • employer’s address and telephone number and dates of employment or last day worked
  • bank account details
  • details of any other money you are getting, such as benefits or sick pay

Appeal a decision

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you disagree with a decision. You must usually ask for ‘mandatory reconsideration’ before you appeal.