Understanding Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

employment-allowanceThose who are incapacitated and are not able to work are eligible for Employment and Support Allowance. People who have not paid enough National Insurance contributions are also qualified for ESA. The allowance is paid by Jobcentre Plus Office and DWP. The ESA can be claimed by filling a form or calling the Jobcentre Plus centre. Check ESA contact number online. Individuals above the age of 16 years are eligible for the pension. Contribution based ESA is national insurance based. The assessment phase goes for around 13 weeks. Since 2012, contributory ESA was reduced to 1 year.

The ESA is not tested for contribution based. The benefit is reduced in the case of private pension payable over £85 per week. The beneficiary is protected when moved from Incapacity Benefit (IB) to ESA and if the pension was dismissed right before transfer or in case the IB was stagnant because of accepting higher rate care of DLA care and ignoring ESA. In the case of income-oriented ESA, income and capital limitations are applicable. Income-oriented ESA is not taxable. For ESA there are no dependent additions but for income-related ESA additional dependents are allowed.

Income-oriented ESA is payable for absence from 4 weeks to 26 weeks. This is eligible for those individuals undergoing medical treatment. If the individual eligible for ESA has grievances on a decision, a review can be considered. This is called mandatory reconsideration, where the decision is reviewed. In these circumstances the aggrieved individual has to talk to the DWP within a span of one month from obtaining the decision for mandatory reconsideration. In case the aggrieved party is not happy after a mandatory reconsideration, a further appeal can be made to the HM courts and Tribunal Service within a period of one month of the mandatory reconsideration.

Moreover, it is important to note that a regular questionnaire along with medical tests is required to gratify the DWP that the individual qualifies. From the year 2012, the Contribution type of ESA is restricted to 12 months for the claimants in the case of Work Related Activity Group. However, the Support Group of the Claimants is not affected in this case.

When the Contribution based ESA claim is nearing its end, the individual will receive a communication informing that you will no more get the contributory based ESA and you will be asked to check for income based ESA. In the case of partners, both the incomes will be taken into consideration. In case you are eligible for income-oriented ESA then the DWP will add you to this benefit automatically. But it is the responsibility of the individual to check if it has happened.

In case the individual is not eligible for income-oriented ESA then an appeal for the reconsideration of the claim can be forwarded stating that your condition is dwindling and you stand entitled for the support group. This called Supercession by DWP. For this, it is important to satisfy at least one limited capability under the Regulation 35 or Schedule 3 of ESA regulations. If you expect deterioration then it is best to wait for a later date and seek a review.