Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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I have a chronic progressive illness. Can I claim ESA if I leave work on grounds of ill health?

rosebud14rosebud14 Member Posts: 2 Listener
Hi I have a chronic progressive illness and I have been off work for the last year.  Initially I was shielding but when shielding first ended I had to supply sick notes to my employer as I cannot manage work at the moment and I’m not sure  if I will be able to in the future. I am on half pay which is ending in 2 months and even though I will still be classed as employed I will not get any pay. My question is would it be better for me to agree to finish on ill health grounds and if so would I be able to claim ESA. I don’t have a works pension  but I worry that if I leave stating il health I wouldn’t get ESA. 

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Replies

  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,188 Pioneering
    edited February 1
    If you paid the appropriate NI between April 2018 and March 2020 you can claim new style ESA. Provided you have a Fit Notes to cover the period you can backdate a claim for three months or to the date your SSP entitlement ended, whichever was later. You will need a form SSP1 from your employer confirming when your SSP ended.

    Occupational sick pay has no impact on ESA.

    Depending on your circumstances you may also be able to claim UC. Any ESA will be deducted from the UC but the UC cannot be backdated. Again you can claim UC will receiving sick pay but the sick pay will reduce the UC payable. When you claim UC you declare your health condition and will need your Fit Note.

    if you are going to backdate the ESA by three months, claim that first and claim the UC a week or so later. This means that if you are put into the ESA Support Group, once this decision is made, you will be entitled to the LCWRA element in UC from the start of the claim.

    You may also be able to claim Council Tax Reduction from your local authority.

    There are benefit calculators that will help you assess entitlement https://www.gov.uk/benefits-calculators
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,033

    Scope community team

    Welcome to the community @rosebud21 :) I hope that calcotti's reply has been helpful? Please let us know if you have any further questions!
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  • rosebud14rosebud14 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you for the replies. They have been helpful. However I do have one more question.At the moment I have occupational half sick pay which is ending in 2 months. My SSP part ended 4 months ago. I now know I  could have claimed ESA I know I will  have to supply sick notes to DWP if I get ESA alongside my occupational sick pay for the next 2 months  However if I cannot go back to work and I  am then finished on ill health grounds  in 2 months time do I need to continue supplying sick notes forever to DWP to continue getting ESA as my original claim will have been based on me still being employed but off sick. 
  • calcotticalcotti Member Posts: 1,188 Pioneering
    edited February 2
    Once you have applied for ESA there will be an assessment although this can take several months. Once DWP have determined your work Capability status you will not need to supply Fit Notes. Whether or not you are employed makes no difference to this process.

    Do please take note of the previous advice that, provided you can supply Fit Notes for the period, you can backdate an ESA claim by three months,

    More information on ESA here 
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/sick-or-disabled-people-and-carers/employment-and-support-allowance/
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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