Newark and Sherwood Homes Limited
Kelham Hall, Kelham
Newark On Trent,
Notts, NG23 5QX
Tel: 0845 258 5550

Newark and Sherwood Homes

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Employment and Support Allowance

A benefit for people whose health affects their ability to work

If you are ill or disabled, you may be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which offers you:

  •  Financial support if you are unable to work
  •  Personalised help so that you can work if you are able to.

You can apply for ESA if you are:

  •  Under State Pension age
  •  Not getting Statutory Sick Pay or Statutory Materninty Pay and you haven’t gone back to work
  •  Not getting Jobseekers Allowance.

If currently claim Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or Income Support because you are unfit to work you will have a 'work capability assessment' to check if you are entitled to the new Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

By March 2014 all existing claimants will be asked to an assessment.  The assessment is based on your ability to do things, rather than on the condition itself. If the assessment rules that you're fit to work, and don't qualify for ESA, you'll need to claim Jobseeker's Allowance instead.

How much will you get?

This depends on your circumstances (eg income) and the type of ESA you qualify for:

  • contribution-based ESA - usually you get this if you’ve got enough National Insurance contributions (NICs)
  • income-related ESA - usually you get this if you are on a low income or you don’t have enough NICs

Your income and savings

Your income may affect your income-related or contribution-based ESA. Income can include:

  • you and your partner’s income
  • savings over £6,000
  • pension income
  • You won’t qualify for income-related ESA if you have savings over £16,000.

Use the benefits adviser to work out how much you can get.

After 13 weeks of ESA you’ll be put into a group:

  •  Work-Related Activity Group - You have to go to regular interviews with an adviser. The adviser can help with things like job goals, improving your skills, work-related issues.

  •  Support Group - You don’t have to go to interviews, but you can ask to talk to a personal adviser if you want to. You’re usually in this group if your illness or disability severely limits what you can do.

Benefit sanctions

Your ESA can be reduced if you don’t go to interviews or do work-related activity as agreed with your adviser. The reduction can continue up to 4 weeks after you’ve gone to the interview.  You will also get details about the sanction, by letter. Tell your ESA adviser if you have a good reason for missing the interview.

If you get a sanction:

  • The letter tells you how to appeal
  • You can also ask for a ‘hardship payment’

Working and claiming ESA

Usually your ESA isn’t affected if you:

  • work and earn up to £20 a week
  • work and earn up to £99.50 a week doing work supervised by someone from a local council or voluntary organisation
  •  work less than 16 hours a week, earn up to £99.50 a week for up to 52 weeks

This is called ‘permitted work’.

You can also do ‘supported permitted work’ for less than 16 hours a week and earn up to £99.50 a week if your illness or disability very severely limits your ability to work.

Supported permitted work is supervised by someone from a local council or a voluntary organisation whose job it is to arrange work for disabled people.

You must tell the Department of Work and Pension (DWP) if you start doing permitted work. They will send you form PW1 to fill in and send back to them.

Any volunteer work you do needs to be reported and can affect your ESA.

Help and advice

See the government's information about ESA.
To apply for ESA by phone: 0800 0556 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm




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