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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

The amount of income-related Employment and Support Allowance you can get depends on lots of things, such as:

  • how old you are
  • whether you live alone or with a partner
  • whether you are caring for someone
  • how much income you (and your partner) have
  • how much your (and your partner's) savings are over £6,000
  • whether you have a mortgage
  • whether you have had the Work Capability Assessment yet
  • if you have had the Work Capability Assessment, whether you are in the work-related activity group or the support group
  • when your claim started

You can use our Benefits Calculator to check how much income-related Employment and Support Allowance you may be entitled to.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance

The amount of contributory Employment and Support Allowance you can get depends on:

  • how old you are
  • whether you have had the Work Capability Assessment yet
  • if you have had the Work Capability Assessment, whether you are in the work-related activity group or the support group
  • when your claim started

Before the Work Capability Assessment, the amount you get is a personal allowance based on your age:

  • Under 25: £57.90 per week
  • 25 and over: £73.10 per week

After the Work Capability Assessment, the amount you get depends on when your claim started and which group you are in:

  • Work-related activity group and claim started before 3 April 2017: £102.15 per week
  • Work-related activity group and claim started on or after 3 April 2017: £73.10 per week
  • Support group, whenever your claim started: £109.65 per week

The amount you get may be reduced if you are receiving pension payments (over £85 per week), councillor's allowance (over £115.50 per week) or an overlapping benefit.

If you are in England, Scotland or Wales and you are in the work-related activity group, your contributory ESA will stop after 1 year.  You can read about the time limit on our Employment and Support Allowance time limit page.

If your ESA continues after the Work Capability Assessment, 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 is in the support group, 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.

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

If you are in work-related activity group, you will have to comply with conditions for your ESA to keep being paid. If you do not comply with the conditions, you could be sanctioned. You can read more about ESA sanctions on our Employment and Support Allowance sanctions page.

Employment and Support Allowance and other benefits

You may get Contributory and Income-related Employment and Support Allowance at the same time. In this situation, the income-related ESA is like a top-up to the contributory ESA. If you are getting both Contributory and Income-related ESA, they do not count as income for other benefits and tax credits.

Contributory Employment and Support Allowance is taken into account as income when calculating other benefits and tax credits.

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

Housing Benefit

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.

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.

 

Updated April 2017

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