You are now leaving the Turn2us site. Turn2us is not responsible for content on third party sites.



Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) - How much Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will I get?

Find out more about Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

How much Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) will I get?

Income related Employment and Support Allowance

It is complicated to work out how much income related Employment and Support Allowance you might get. Your income from different sources is added up and compared against what the government considers your needs are, this will depend on your circumstances, for example:

  • how old you are

  • if you live alone or with a partner

  • if you are caring for someone

  • if you or your partner have savings over £6,000

  • any earnings you or your partner may have

  • if you have a mortgage

  • whether you are in the assessment period (the first 13 weeks of a claim – though this can take longer than 13 weeks)

  • what level of support you are considered to need after the assessment period (in the main phase)

Use the Turn2us Benefits Calculator to find out how much income-related Employment and Support Allowance you may be entitled to as the amount can vary from one person to another.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance

For contributory Employment and Support Allowance the amount you get depends on:

  • how old you are

  • if you live alone or in a couple 

  • whether you are in the assessment period (the first 13 weeks of a claim – though this can take longer than 13 weeks)

  • what level of support you are considered to need after the assessment period (in the main phase)

After the assessment phase, if you are put in the Work Related Activity Group you will receive the basic rate of Employment and Support Allowance plus an extra amount called the work-related activity component. If you are put in the Support Group you will receive the basic rate plus an extra amount called the support component.

You can find current rates of Employment and Support Allowance on the Government's GOV.UK website (link opens in a new window)

If you receive contributory ESA (after the assessment phase) you also qualify for a £10 Christmas Bonus each year. You do not need to make a claim for the bonus it is paid automatically. It does not affect any other benefits you might get.

Benefit Cap

Employment and Support Allowance is included in the Benefit Cap which limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive.

However, if you or your partner receives the Support Component of Employment and Support Allowance, you will be exempt from the Benefit Cap.

See our Benefit Cap information for more details.

How will I be paid Employment and Support Allowance?

Employment and Support Allowance will be paid directly into your Bank, Building Society or Post Office account or by Simple Payment if you are unable to open or manage one of these or a similar account.

Employment and Support Allowance is usually paid every two weeks

If you have a terminal illness, there are special rules. You can get Employment and Support Allowance from the first day of sickness.

Time Limiting (for people in the Work-Related Activity Group)

The amount of time contributory Employment and Support Allowance can be paid for is limited to 365 days in England, Scotland and Wales if you are in the Work Related Activity Group, see our Employment and Support Allowance time limit information for more details.

Sanctions (for people in the Work-Related Activity Group)

There are conditions you have to meet in order to remain entitled to receive Employment and Support Allowance and penalties, called sanctions, that can be imposed if you do not meet those conditions. These rules do not apply to you if you are placed in the support group. See our Employment and Support Allowance sanctions information for more details.

Employment and Support Allowance and other benefits

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance is not taken into account as income when calculating other benefits and tax credits.

If you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance and are eligible for Housing Benefit, you are automatically entitled to get the maximum Housing Benefit for your circumstances.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance is taken into account as income when calculating other benefits and tax credits if you do not get with it income-related Employment and Support Allowance as a top up of benefit.

Cold Weather Payment

If you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance, you may also qualify for a Cold Weather Payment. You do not need to make a claim as the payment will be made automatically for each qualifying period of cold weather. See our Cold Weather Payment guide for further details.

Anything wrong with this page?

Tell us the problem

Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter what you were doing
Please enter what you'd like to report
Please enter the security code shown
Close

Thank you

If you would like to tell us more please visit our contact page

Close

Search for a grant

Look for funds that might be able to give you a grant and/or other types of help.

Use the Grants Search tool