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Benefit Rates

ESA Rates 2018: How Much You Get

There are several different rates of ESA payments. Employment and Support Allowance provides financial support as well as some work-related support.

DWP ESA RATES: This guide explains how to qualify for the amount you can get from support allowance rates.

ESA benefit rates are usually predetermined for the first few months after you make a claim.

As a rule, you will get the assessment rate while they make a decision on your capability for work.

The Work Capability Assessment test determines the extent of your illness or disability. It will show how the disability affects your capacity to join the workplace.

ESA Financial Support: Assessment Rates

The assessment phase of your claim can take up to 13 weeks. During this time the amount you get will depend on whether you are:

ESA Entitlement Criteria

In most cases the medical results will show you have limited capability for work. That means Employment and Support Allowance entitlement criteria will get approved.

You will get placed into a particular grouping. The group determines your ESA payment rates which start from week 14 onward:

You may get entitlement to the enhanced disability premium at £15.90 a week. It will apply if you get placed in the support group and you are receiving income-related ESA.

In some case, you may also qualify for the severe disability premium rate of £62.45 per week.

Important Information iconESA backdated payments 2018: DWP ESA benefit rates may get backdated to the 14th week of the claim. This would be in cases where the assessment takes longer than 13 weeks.

Note: You can use a benefits calculator before making an application. New regulations extend the number of waiting days at the start of a claim to seven (7) days. During this time the claimant has no entitlement.

ESA Work-related Activity Group (WRAG)

The Work Capability Assessment might place you in the work related activity group. That means you must attend regular interviews with a benefits adviser. The work coach will help with your job goals and activities. They focus on improving your occupational skills.

ESA Support Group

Being placed in the support group means you have limited capabilities for working. In this case you do not need to attend the job interviews. But, you can still ask to discuss your options with a personal adviser.

Sanctions for Benefits

ESA benefits sanctions can reduce your payment rates if you fail to attend the interviews. The same applies if you fail to complete any work-related activity as agreed with your personal adviser.

Reductions may continue up to four weeks after you have restarted attending interviews or job activities.

You might get a 'sanction letter' to attend an interview. Always inform your adviser if you have a valid reason for missing the interview. In most cases, receiving a second letter means you will get a benefit sanction. Your benefits do not get affected until they make this decision.

What if you get an Employment and Support Allowance benefit sanction? You can either ask for the decision to get assessed again or request a 'hardship payment'.

Note: Contact your local council if you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction. They will advise you how to continue getting support.

ESA Hardship Payments DWP

If your income-related ESA reduces because of a benefit sanction or benefit fraud penalty, you may be able to get a hardship payment. You do not have to pay back a hardship payment, as a rule.

But, the amount is a big reduction over your Employment and Support Allowance benefit. It is (approximately 60% to 80% of the normal ESA pay rates).

ESA Hardship Payment Eligibility and Claim

In some cases, if you are 18 years or older, you can get a hardship payment. This helps cover the cost of rent, food, heating, and certain other basic necessities for you or your child. Contact your Jobcentre Plus adviser or work coach to find out how to claim ESA hardship payment.

Jobcentre Plus
Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday: 8am to 6pm
Check UK phone call charges.

How do ESA Payments Work?

Payments get paid fortnightly to those who have Employment Support Allowance eligibility. As with all benefits, pensions, and allowances, ESA benefit payments get paid direct into a secure account. It should be an account registered in your name (e.g. bank, building society, or credit union account).

ESA Payments Bank Holiday

UK Bank holidays are periods when banking institutions and most other businesses close for trading the whole day.

As a rule, your benefit payments will go in on the last working weekday immediately before the holiday time. You can check if your ESA payment is due using our 2018 UK bank holiday calendar.

Note: You can choose to apply for a Budgeting Loan after being on income-related ESA for at least six months.

Also in this section...

ESA Regulations: A financial benefit given to those who cannot work or need assistance to be in work.
ESA Eligibility Criteria: Find out if you meet the conditions for claiming Employment Support Allowance.
ESA Types: Check how different types of Employment and Support Allowance determine the payments.
How to Claim ESA: Check the different ways to apply but claiming by phone is often the quickest way.

ESA Payment Rates for Employment and Support Allowance Benefit