Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
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Esa contributory based.

jane18jane18 Member Posts: 3 Listener
Hello, I have been put on contribution based esa after being on contribution based incapacity for a long time.  Do you people stay on contribution based one indefinetly as I'm confused between the income based and contribution based  one? 


  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,105 Disability Gamechanger
    You stay on for 12 months maximum unless you've been placed in the Support Group. Even then, it's not indefinitely. It's just until you're next asked to complete an ESA 50 and attend a medical. Usually every 2 to 3 years.
  • jane18jane18 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Hi mike,  does staying on contribution based esa for 12 mths only apply to esa claims.  I was on incapacity benefit contribution based for over 10 yrs and kept on it but wondered why I wasn't put on income based one?  

  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,105 Disability Gamechanger

    I'm not sure what the question is?

    If you're single then there's a good chance you should get contributory and means-tested ESA. Should happen automatically. Still doesn't.

  • jane18jane18 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    Yeah sorry, I'm getting confused.  I was kept on contribution based incapacity benefit indefintely over many yrs and didn't understand why I wasn't on the income based one.  Should I be applying for the income based one as well or is eligibility affected by living with other family members?   
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,105 Disability Gamechanger
    Yes and yes it may be.
  • BenefitsTrainingCoBenefitsTrainingCo Member Posts: 2,692 Pioneering

    Hi @jane18

    @mikehughescq has already answered this for us!, but just to confirm he's absolutely right.

    When you were moved from IB to ESA you would have continued on contributions based if that was what you were on.

    If you are in Support Group, that contributions-based ESA is not time limited (although as Mike says, they will reassess you periodically and may try and alter your award then). If you're in work-related-activity group, then the contributions based ends after 12 months.

    As regards income-related ESA, if you or your partner have other income/capital then this would often affect entitlement to the income-related ESA. However it's also often the case that the DWP simply don't think to process a claim for income based element if the claim has always been contributions based. If your income/capital is low enough, then all support group ESA claims are entitled to an 'enhanced disability premium' of 15.90/week, and this can be backdated.

    If you think you might qualify, call ESA and ask them to send you an ESA3 form, and return it to them fully completed and with a cover letter explaining that you want the income-related adding. Worst they can say is no!

    Kind regards


    The Benefits Training Co:
    Paul Bradley
    Michael Chambers
    Will Hadwen
    Sarah Hayle
    Maria Solomon
    David Stickland
  • mikehughescqmikehughescq Member Posts: 7,105 Disability Gamechanger
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