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7. Benefit Entitlements

Help & advice

This category covers the different benefits which a person who is in care may be entitled to.

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Employment and Support Allowance

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit designed to help people who are going through a period of illness or who have a disability that is affecting their ability to work. You can claim ESA alongside doing work, this is called ‘permitted work’. Permitted work includes:

- Earning up to £20 a week

- Work for less than 16 hours a week, providing you are not earning more than £115.50 a week

All ESA claimants must have a Work Capability Assessment; the purpose of this assessment is to see to what extent your disability or illness affects your ability to work. Once the assessment has taken place you will be placed into one of two groups: work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an Adviser or a support group, where you will not need to attend interviews.

ESA is paid at two rates, the assessment rate (13 weeks after your claim) is up to £57.90 a week if you are under 25 years of age and up to £73.10 a week if you’re aged over 25. If you are assessed and placed into the work-related activity group you will be paid up to £102.15 a week; those placed into the support group will be paid £109.30 a week.

As with all benefits, if your circumstances should change then you must inform the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). Factors which affect your ESA include: you and your partner’s income, if you have savings over £6,000 and any pension income. You will not be eligible for income-related ESA if you have savings over £16,000 or are currently claiming Universal Credit.

If you would like to apply for ESA, the quickest and easiest way is by telephone, simply ring: 0800 055 6688. In order to make a claim you will need: National Insurance number, a medical certificate, GP’s contact details, mortgage or landlord details, council tax bill, employer’s address and contact details, bank account details and details of any other income you are receiving.

For further information regarding ESA, please see: https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance/overview