Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Contribution based ESA question

michaelcyainemichaelcyaine Member Posts: 1 Listener
I had an incomplete NI Contribution year 2014/2015. I have been told I can apply successfully in January of 2018 for Contribution based ESA but only told in mid January so, what date do I need to apply from please? My Fit Note is still up to date until first week in February and have had notice to say it has been received. I'll health stopped me from working at my last job in March of 2017
Mr M Bajor 


  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering
    Hi michaelcyaine - if you have been told that your national insurance history will allow you to make a successful claim for contribution based ESA from January 18, then I see no reason for you not to apply straight away. The first Sunday in January counts as the start of a new benefit year, which means that the tax years which are considered for your ESA claim move on by one year. The first Sunday this year was the 7th January, so your claim must NOT start before then. Make sure that your fit notes stay up to date as your ESA claim progresses. Remember that if you are eventually placed into the work-related activity group (as opposed to the support group), then you are only entitled to contribution based ESA for a total of one year, and that includes any weeks spent in the assessment phase (i.e before a decision is made about your capacity for work). So for instance, if you spend 6 months in the assessment phase, and then get put into the ESA work-related activity group, you would only be able to stay on contributory ESA for a further six months. If your illness or disability permits, it's better to try and get into the support group if appropriate, as there is no time limiting. There is an excellent ESA resource on the Disability Rights UK website: https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/employment-and-support-allowance-overview. Good luck with your claim!

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