This benefit is for people under State Pension age who cannot work because of illness or disability.
There are different types of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA):
- Contribution-based ESA may be available if you have paid enough National Insurance. If you live in a Universal Credit area, this is called new style ESA.
- Income-related ESA may be available if your income and savings are low. This can be paid if you cannot get contribution-based ESA. Or it can be paid to give you an extra amount. Income-related ESA is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit. You might need to apply for that instead, depending on where you live.
If you qualify for income-related ESA, it can help you get other support such as free school meals for your children, Housing Benefit, and help with hospital costs. It can also pay towards your service charges and help you get support with mortgage interest.
If you are already claiming Incapacity Benefit or Income Support, you might be transferred to ESA. ESA has also replaced Severe Disablement Allowance. For more information, visit gov.uk/incapacity-benefit