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Employment and Support Allowance - rates

The amount you get paid depends on your circumstances.  For income-related Employment and Support Allowance, your household income, pension and any savings of £6,000 or more are taken into account. It also depends on what effect your disability has on your ability to do any work.

Rates

Weekly rate during the assessment phase

The assessment phase rate is paid for the first 13 weeks of your claim while a decision is made on your capability for work through the Work Capability Assessment:

  • a single person aged under 25: up to £57.35
  • a single person aged 25 and over: up to £72.40

Weekly rate during the main phase

The main phase starts from week 14 of your claim, if the Work Capability Assessment shows that your illness or disability does limit your ability to work:

  • a single person in the Work Related Activity Group: up to £101.15
  • a single person in the Support Group: up to £108.15

In most cases you will not get any money for the first seven days of your claim. These are called 'waiting days'.

Depending on your circumstances you may be able to get more money if you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

You can only get extra money for your husband, wife or civil partner if you get income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Customers moving onto Employment and Support Allowance from incapacity benefits

If you are moving onto Employment and Support Allowance after the review of your claim to:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support paid on the grounds of  illness or disability
  • Severe Disablement Allowance

You will be told whether you're in the Support Group or Work-Related Activity Group. See 'Employment and Support Allowance - Introduction' for more information.

Your benefit will be transferred automatically and there will be no break in the payments you receive.

If the amount of incapacity benefit you get is more than the amount of Employment and Support Allowance, you’ll get a top-up payment. The amount of benefit you get won't rise until the amount of Employment and Support Allowance catches up with the amount of the top-up payment.   

If the amount of incapacity benefit you get is lower than the amount of Employment and Support Allowance, you will get more money. Your money will increase as soon as you move to Employment and Support Allowance.

Pension income rules

If you receive contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance and have a gross pension income of more than £85 a week, the amount of benefit payable will be reduced by half of the excess.

The excess is the difference between £85 and the actual pension income. For example, for a pension income of £100, the excess is £15. The amount of Employment and Support Allowance payable is reduced by half of that, which is £7.50.

If you receive income-related Employment and Support Allowance, any pension income you have will be taken into account, regardless of the amount.

Income Tax

Income-related Employment and Support Allowance is not taxable.

It's important to note that contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance is taxable, so you may have to pay tax. How much tax, if any, you have to pay depends on whether you receive any other income, for example, an occupational pension.

Depending on your circumstances, you may get a new tax code.

How it's paid

All benefits, pensions and allowances are paid into an account. This is the safest, most convenient and efficient method of payment.

What to do if your circumstances change

It's important to contact the Employment and Support Allowance Centre if your circumstances change. For example if:

  • you do any work, including voluntary work
  • you start training and get a training allowance
  • you change your address
  • you have been in hospital for 52 weeks and part of your benefit is paid for someone else
  • you go abroad

You can contact the Employment and Support Allowance Centre by telephone - the number will be on letters sent to you.