ESA Contact Number

0843 515 9490

Call the Employment and Support Allowance Helpline

ESA Contact Number | 0843 515 9490Last Updated: 02/02/2017

When you’re ill or disabled, it can sometimes be difficult to make ends meet. Finding work can be a struggle, and the bills don’t pay themselves. The ESA benefit is available no matter what your work status and is replacing benefits such as Income Support to ensure you get a fairer deal. Applying is easy: the best way is to pick up the phone and dial the ESA contact number listed on this page. The team of advisors are standing by to take you through the application process.

All enquiries are handled by the Job Centre Plus, a part of the Department for Work and Pensions. By calling the ESA benefit enquiry number above and selecting option 3 using your keypad, your call will connect to an advisor who can help. We provide a directory enquiry service and are not affiliated with any government organisation.

Calls cost 7p/minute plus your operator’s access charge. For all enquiries, including eligibility and how to claim ESA, call the ESA telephone number on 0843 515 9490 today.

What is ESA?

Apply for ESA

The ESA stands for Employment Support Allowance. It is a form of financial support that can be claimed within the UK if you are unable to work due to having an illness or disability. It used to be known as the incapacity benefit but has since been replaced by ESA, which includes stricter assessments. If you feel you need more information about this benefit then you can get in touch with the ESA helpline.

There are four main stages to claiming ESA:

  • Assessment
  • Main phase
  • Support groups
  • Work-related activity groups

Phone the ESA support number to begin your application process on 0843 515 9490.

How to claim ESA

The best way to apply for ESA is over the phone. Call on 0843 515 9490 to find out if you are eligible, or fill out an ESA1 form and hand this into your local Job Centre Plus.

To apply for ESA, have the following information at hand to speed up the application process:

  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Medical certificate
  • GP address and phone number
  • Home and mobile number
  • Mortgage and landlord details
  • Employer address and telephone number
  • Employment dates or last day worked
  • Bank account details
  • Details of any other benefits
  • Council tax bill

If you need another format to apply for the benefit, then contact ESA using the number listed above and request an alternative format like braille, large print or audio CD.

ESA application process

Once you have applied for ESA, you will need to go through a Work Capability Assessment period. This is stricter than it was for the previous Incapacity Benefit. During this time, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire and attend a medical health check to assess your fitness to work.

This initial phase of the assessment period can take around 13 weeks to complete, but depending on the applications process it can take longer. If this is the case, ESA will contact you and let you know how long your application should take.

After this initial phase of the assessment period, you will be asked to attend an interview where you will discuss your application further. From here you will be contacted to let you know if your application has been successful or not. If it has, you’ll be placed in one of two support groups.

  • The first group is for those looking to get back into employment
  • The second is for those who are permanently unable to work
  • Group attendance is compulsory for you to continue receiving your benefit

Types of Financial Support

You can claim one of two different types of this benefit. These are:

  • Contribution-based ESA – usually you get this if you’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions (National Insurance credits can count for part of this if you get them)
  • Income-related ESA – usually you get this on its own or on top of contribution-based ESA if you’re on a low income

You may be sanctioned if you do not attend your interviews or do work related activity as agreed with your advisor. The reduction can continue for up to 4 weeks after you start going back to your interviews.

ESA benefit calculations

If your application to ESA is successful, you may potentially receive financial help to go towards your living costs or personalised help if you are able to work. The specific amount of Employment and Support Allowance you receive is dependent on your personal circumstances, including your income, the type of ESA you qualify for and where you are in the assessment process. Use the ESA calculator on the Government’s website to get a rough estimation of how much you could get.

How to appeal a decision

If you are unhappy with a decision made by the ESA, then you will need to bring this to their attention. It is a legal requirement to notify the ESA of your complaint, in order for them to look into and reassess your application.

If they still come to the same conclusion as they did before and you are still not happy with the decision, then you can pass your appeal to an independent tribunal to review. If you still do not feel satisfied then you can pass your appeal over to the financial ombudsman.

ESA FAQs

Am I eligible for ESA?

You will be eligible for ESA if you are under state pension age, not receiving sick or maternity pay, not receiving jobseekers allowance and have not gone back to work. You will only be able to apply if you have become ill or disabled and cannot work anymore.

I used to receive Incapacity Benefit – what happens now?

If you are in receipt of Incapacity Benefit then your benefit should remain the same. You should be contacted by letter to let you know that you will be being transferred over to the ESA soon. Your benefit will be transferred automatically and there will be no break in the payments you receive. You may have to reapply at a later date to see if you qualify for ESA benefits.

How long can I receive ESA for?

This is completely depended on your specific circumstances and situation. You will continue to be in receipt of ESA if you are permanently unable to work and continue to attend the support groups set out for others that cannot work.

You may experience a reduction in your ESA if your situation changes and you recover from your illness or disability or if your income changes. If the amount of ESA has changed or you notice your allowance has stopped, contact ESA to discuss your application further.

I have been asked to go to a health assessment, but am unable to leave the house. What can I do?

If you are unable to attend the assessment or interviews because of your illness or disability then you need to let HMRC know about your problem as soon as possible. If you are living more than 90 minutes from the assessment centre then you should be able to get a home assessment carried out. It is important that you let the ESA know if you are unable to attend any interviews.

My ESA benefits have stopped, what can I do?

If your benefits have been stopped and you still require financial help then you will need to go to your nearest Jobcentre Plus to find out what has happened and what steps you should take next.

How do I contact the relevant ESA department about my claim?

When it comes to Employment and Support Allowance, it can be difficult to track down the phone number to get you through to the right person. We have found the best number to call for ESA enquiries via the Jobcentre Plus. Select the third automated option on your telephone keypad to speak to an advisor about your claim. You should call this number with any general enquiries, or for queries regarding your existing claim to register a complaint and more by calling the phone number above.

What are hardship payments?

Hardship payments may be paid if your income-related ESA is reduced because of a sanction or fraud. This is money that you do not have to pay back. This payment is a reduced amount of your ESA which is usually around 60%.

What happens if I don’t attend my ESA interview or support group?

You may be sanctioned if you do not attend your interviews or do work related activity as agreed with your advisor. The reduction can continue for up to 4 weeks after you start going back to your interviews.

ESA contact number opening hours

You can contact ESA at any time between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Outside of these hours, you can still claim by filling in and sending a ‘Form ESA1′, obtainable from the GOV.UK website.

If you experience problems with the ESA contact telephone number listed here, please contact us. We aim to keep the information on this website as up-to-date as possible.

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