How to claim 'new style' Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): step by step

You might be eligible for ‘new style’ ESA if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

  1. Step 1 Check if you're eligible

    1. Check if you're eligible for ESA

    You might also be eligible for Universal Credit.

    1. Find out about Universal Credit
  2. and Start your claim

  3. Step 2 Attend the appointment with your work coach

    You'll agree what actions you need to take to get payments. This is called a 'Claimant Commitment'.

  4. Step 3 Get your first payment

    You’ll get a letter telling you if you’ll get ‘new style’ ESA and how much.

    1. How much you're paid
  5. and Give updates about your health and circumstances

    To keep getting 'new style' ESA you must send fit notes regularly and report any change in your circumstances.

    1. Send a fit note
    2. Report any change in your circumstances
  6. Step 4 Fill in and send the ESA50 form

    You'll get form ESA50 in the post within 4 weeks of your first payment. Return it within 28 days.

    1. Get help filling in ESA50 form
  7. Step 5 Attend a Work Capability Assessment

    You may need to go for a Work Capability Assessment. If you do, you'll get a letter telling you where to go and when.

    1. Prepare for your Work Capability Assessment
  8. Step 6 Get a decision about how much you'll get

    You'll get a letter with a decision. It will also tell you if you'll need to be assessed again.

    1. How much you can get
    2. Find out how to challenge the decision

    To keep getting the right amount you'll need to report any change in your circumstances.

    1. Report a change of circumstances
  9. Step 7 Check if your payments will stop or if you'll be reassessed

    You'll be told if your payments will stop and when.

    1. Get support from Jobcentre Plus when your payments stop

    If you'll need to be assessed again, you'll be sent an ESA50 form. This is normally within 3 years.