Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

What you'll get

How much you get will depend on what stage your application is at, as well as things like your age and whether you’re able to get back into work.

If you get ‘new style’ ESA you’ll earn Class 1 National Insurance credits, which can help towards your State Pension and some benefits in the future.

What might affect how much you get paid

Neither your or your partner’s savings or income will affect how much ‘new style’ ESA or contribution-based ESA you’re paid. But a private pension worth more than £85 per week may affect how much you can get.

If you get income-related ESA, your household income and savings worth £6,000 or more may affect how much you can get.

While your claim is being assessed

You’ll normally get the ‘assessment rate’ for 13 weeks while your claim is being assessed.

This will be:

  • up to £58.90 a week if you’re aged under 25
  • up to £74.35 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

If it takes longer than 13 weeks to assess your claim, you’ll continue getting the ‘assessment rate’ until you get a decision. Your ESA will be backdated if you’re owed any money after 13 weeks.

After you’re assessed

You’ll be placed into one of 2 groups if you’re entitled to ESA. If you’re able to get back into work in the future, you’ll be put into the work-related activity group. Otherwise, you’ll be put into the support group.

You’ll get:

  • up to £74.35 a week if you’re in the work-related activity group
  • up to £113.55 a week if you’re in the support group

If you’re in the support group

If you’re in the support group and on income-related ESA, you’re also entitled to the enhanced disability premium.

You may also qualify for the severe disability premium.

How you’re paid

You’ll get paid ESA every 2 weeks.

All benefits are paid into your bank, building society or credit union account.

Other benefits you can claim

Universal Credit can help with, for example, your housing and childcare costs. You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style’ ESA.

Use a benefits calculator to find out what other benefits you could get, for example Personal Independence Payment (PIP) if you’re disabled.

The benefit cap may affect the total amount of benefit you can get. The cap will not affect you if you’re in the support group.

Budgeting Loan

You can apply for a Budgeting Loan if you’ve been on income-related ESA for at least 6 months.

Advice on money and debt

You can get help and advice from your Jobcentre Plus work coach or: