|Employment and Support Allowance|
Overview of 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. It replaced both Incapacity Benefit (IB) and Income Support (IS) paid on the grounds of incapacity.
Contributory ESA is linked to your National Insurance Contribution record. It replaces Incapacity Benefit, which was also a National Insurance benefit. To be entitled to Contributory ESA, you must have paid National Insurance contributions over a number of years, from before the age of 20 (or 25 if you have been in education or training), it may not be necessary for you to satisfy these contributory conditions. A time limit of one year now applies to certain Contributory ESA claimants.
Income-related ESA is the means-tested element of ESA. It replaces Income Support paid on the grounds of incapacity. It provides for your basic living expenses (and those of your partner).
What are the rules for Employment and Support Allowance?
The following rules apply to all ESA claims:
Residence and Presence Tests for ESA
Income Related ESA – you must be present in the UK, be habitually resident and have the right to reside.
How to apply for Employment and Support Allowance
You will be expected to provide medical certificates (fit notes) to make your claim. If you don't already have one, contact your GP. The next step is to call the National Contact Centre on 0800 055 6688 to start your claim. If you are unable to use a telephone you can make a claim via a representative or by completing a printed form available from your local Jobcentre (ESA1).
What happens after the initial application?
When someone applies for Employment and Support Allowance they will enter a 13 week assessment phase. This applies to all new ESA claimants with the exception of those who are terminally ill. The assessment period usually takes place over a 13 week period but can be longer. During this assessment period claimants undergo a work capability assessment and a work focused interview.
The Work Capability Assessment
The Employment and Support Allowance work capability assessment (WCA) will determine whether you are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance and the amount you will receive. The assessment will be carried out by a health care professional working on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It is intended to:
From 28 January 2013, a range of changes have been in force in relation to the limited capability for work and limited capability for work related activity tests, including when deciding who is to be treated as having either a limited capability for work or a limited capability for work-related activity. In general, the new rules apply to those making a claim or whose determination is made on or after 28 January.
There are two parts to the Work Capability Assessment:
As such, it may be viewed as an assessment of what a claimant may be able to do in terms of employment now or in the foreseeable future. The information collected at this assessment is put into a 'capability report' which is used in the work-focused interview.
Some people may not have to attend the full Work Capability Assessment, this will include individuals with a terminal illness and those that can be identified as having limited capability for work or limited capability for work related activity without the need for them to take part in the full assessment. Clients who are terminally will be fast-tracked into the support group of Employment and Support Allowance so that they can receive all entitlements as quickly as possible. They will not be required to participate in a work focused health related assessment or any other work related activity.
Universal credit (UC) is a new benefit which will replace the following benefits, for anyone under state pension credit age, nationwide in Great Britain from October 2013:
Between October 2013 and 2017 income related employment and support allowance will be abolished and will be paid as part of universal credit. If you are already getting income related employment and support allowance you will be moved, at some point, over to universal credit.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:44|