If you have made National Insurance Contributions through work in the previous tax years, and you stop working due to ill health, you may be able to claim this benefit. You can claim Employment Support Allowance (ESA) as well as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments (PIP).
You become eligible for this benefit when your employer stops paying you Statutory Sick Pay. When your income from work stops, you may be able to claim this benefit. You will need to have a note from your doctor explaining why you are signed off.
You will be paid every two weeks, and payments last a minimum of a year. During this time, you will be put forward for a Work Capability Assessment, where your health will be assessed. Depending on the outcome of this assessment, your benefit may be increased.
Please note: some people will still be claiming the old version of ESA that is not means tested. These claims will soon be moved to Universal Credit.
The health assessment is very similar to Universal Credit. They will assess how your health prevents you from working, looking at a variety of examples, such as whether you struggle to organise daily tasks and how you engage with others. If the medical assessors decide your health prevents you from carrying out work related activities, you will be awarded extra money.
You can continue to claim this benefit even if you are in hospital.
Applications for this benefit can be made online here or by calling 0800 055 6688
Further information about this benefit can be found here: