Photo: Person filling in Employment and support allowance application forms

Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit paid if your ability to work is limited by ill health or disability.

Recent updates to ESA:

 Starting from September 2017, if you get ESA, you'll be reviewed at your next assessment under new criteria to decide if you need regular reassessments. You'll no longer be reassessed if the following is true about your condition:

  • it will always meet the support group criteria (find these on page 8 of the pull-out section of our Claiming ESA booklet)
  • it's lifelong once diagnosed
  • it's unambiguous (they have confirmed a diagnosis)
  • it has no realistic prospect of recovery (there aren't any treatments that are likely to improve your condition)

From 3 April 2017, The ESA work-related activity group rate is being reduced for new claimants. This reduction means that new claimants, who apply for ESA on or after April 3 2017 and are placed in the work-related activity group, will receive £73.10 a week. This is the same as people claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA).

Existing work-related activity group claimants won't be affected. However, if you're already claiming and you stop claiming for a period of 12 weeks or more then reapply for it, this new regulation will apply to you.

The ESA rate for those placed in the support group won't be affected.

For full details, read our guide Claiming Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you have been refused ESA, you can appeal against the decision. See our page on how to appeal an ESA decision for more information.

Find out more about ESA