Employment and Support Allowance

Who is it for?
Anyone who claims benefit due to incapacity for work after October 27th 2008.

Who pays it?
Job Centre Plus

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
By phone on 0800 0556688

What are the age limits?
16 to 60/65

National Insurance based?
Yes – can be based on N.I. record

Means tested?
Yes – if client has inadequate N.I.record

How long does it last?
For as long as JCP accept that the claimant has limited capacity for work.

What is effect on other benefits?
Counted in full as income for all means tested benefits

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?

Payable if in EU or other?
Yes, but in other countries only for temporary absence.

Points to watch
People getting ESA based on N.I. record may not get same automatic right to ‘passported’ benefits such as HB, CTB, free school meals, prescriptions etc as those getting ESA through a means-test.  New tests to prove limited capacity for work and to decide whether claimant goes into ‘support’ group or not (support group get higher rate of benefit and benefit not conditional on undertaking work related activity). Likely to be many challenges over whether fit for work or not. Long-term claimants will be referred to local Pathways to Work providers for more intensive ‘help’ in finding work.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the 
Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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