Renfrewshire Council

Employment and Support Allowance

You may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance if any of the following apply to you:

  • Your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you cannot get it.
  • You are self-employed or unemployed.
  • You have been getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and have not gone back to work for your employer because you have an illness or disability which affects your ability to work.
  • You are under State Pension age.

You must also either:

  • have had an illness or disability which affects your ability to work for at least four days in a row (including weekends and public holidays)
  • be unable to work for two or more days out of seven consecutive days, or
  • be getting special medical treatment.

Contribution Based ESA

You may qualify for Contribution Based ESA if you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions.

Your benefit may only be paid for 365 days if you are not in the Support Group.

Income Based

You may qualify for Income Based ESA if you have under £16,000 in savings and if you have a partner they work under 24 hours per week. Any income and savings your family has may affect the amount you receive. There is no time-limit on Income Based ESA claims.

New Claims Process

For new claims, Employment and Support Allowance consists of two phases:

  • the assessment phase, and
  • the main phase.

The assessment phase
The assessment phase lasts for the first 13 weeks of your claim. This is while a decision is made on your capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment. During this phase, Employment and Support Allowance is paid at a basic rate.

The main phase

The main phase starts from week 14 of your claim.

If the Work Capability Assessment shows that your illness or disability does limit your ability to work. During this phase, an additional amount (called a component) is paid on top of the basic rate

There are two groups within the main phase:

Work-Related Activity Group
If you are placed in the Work-Related Activity Group, you will be expected to take part in work-focused interviews with your personal adviser. You will get support to help you prepare for suitable work.

In return, you will receive a work-related activity component in addition to your basic rate.

Support Group
If your illness or disability has a severe effect on your ability to work, you won't be expected to work. You will receive a support component in addition to your basic rate.