Universal Credit has replaced Income-based Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in Somerset unless you are in receipt of a Severe Disability Premium. There is a new style of ESA which can be applied for specific circumstances.

‘New style’ Employment Support Allowance

Most new claims are for the ‘new style’ Employment Support Allowance.

To get a ‘new style’ Employment Support Allowance you need to have both:

  • worked as an employee or been self-employed
  • paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last 2 to 3 years (National Insurance credits also count)

If you are getting Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from an employer, you can apply for a ‘new style’ Employment Support Allowance, up to 3 months before your Statutory Sick Pay ends. You’ll start getting a ‘new style’ Employment Support Allowance as soon as your Statutory Sick Pay ends.

‘New-style’ Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit

You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of a ‘new style’ Employment Support Allowance. Universal Credit can help with, for example, your housing and childcare costs.

Contribution-based Employment Support Allowance

When you can apply for a contribution-based Employment Support Allowance

You can apply for contribution-based Employment Support Allowance if you’ve been employed or self-employed and paid National Insurance contributions, usually in the last 2 to 3 years. National Insurance credits can also count.

Last reviewed: February 8, 2024 by Gemma

Next review due: August 8, 2024

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