Would I be able to claim ESA if I cut my hours? — Scope | Disability forum
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Would I be able to claim ESA if I cut my hours?

suzysue Member Posts: 2 Listener
I suffer from depression and aniexty I work full time would I be able to claim employment support allowance


  • suzysue
    suzysue Member Posts: 2 Listener
    If I cut my hours
  • JennysDad
    JennysDad Member Posts: 2,299 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello Suzy (?) @suzysue and a warm welcome to the community. It is good to have you with us.
    I'm not qualified to answer your question myself, but we have expert advisers here who will be in touch with you, probably later today (Thursday). Bear with us, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
    Warmest best wishes to you,
  • BenefitsTrainingCo
    BenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,622 Pioneering

    Unfortunately that is a big question! It is possible to claim employment and support allowance (ESA) and still work, as long as you work for less than 16 hours, and you do not earn more than £120 a week. If you're thinking of claiming contributory ESA based on your national insurance contributions, then how long you can get it also depends on what happens at the medical (if you get put in the support group, you can get contributory ESA indefinitely; if you're in the work-related activity group, you can only get it for a year).

    Also, it's unfortunately true to say that it could be harder to pass the medical if you still work (I know that shouldn't be the case, but they are likely to ask you lots about how you manage to work). 

    Another thing to think about would be whether you can claim Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which doesn't depend on whether you work or don't work, as it looks at your home life, not your work life. You can have a look at the PIP self-test here.

    There's also a form of ESA called income-related ESA, but that is gradually being replaced by Universal Credit (UC), and both those benefits will depend on your other circumstances, such as if you have savings or whether you have a working partner. Whether or not you claim UC or income-related ESA would depend on what area of the country you live in. UC has a different test about working and having limited capability for work - but basically, for UC, you'd need to avoid earning the equivalent of 16 x the minimum wage per week (or more than this), unless you already get DLA, PIP or attendance allowance.

    If you're not in a UC area, and you do manage to claim PIP, then you could get Working Tax Credit if you still work at least 16 hours a week and your income is low enough (that would depend on a partner's income too, but not on savings). You can check if you are in an area where UC is available by using this website and putting your postcode in. 

    Hope this gives you some idea of what your options are.

    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland


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