Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.


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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