Employment and Support Allowance - eligibility
You may be able to get Employment and Support Allowance if you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work.
You may be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance if any of the following apply to you:
- your Statutory Sick Pay has ended, or you cannot get it
- you are employed, self-employed, unemployed or a student on Disability Living Allowance
- you have been getting Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and have not gone back to work for your employer because you have an illness or disability which affects your ability to work
- you are under State Pension age
- you are not getting Jobseeker’s Allowance
You must also either:
- have had an illness or disability which affects your ability to work
- be unable to work for two or more days out of seven consecutive days; or
- be getting special medical treatment
- if you are aged 16, 17, 18 or 19 - or if you are aged 20, 21, 22, 23 or 24 - and you were in education or training during the last three months before your twentieth birthday, and you have been unable to work because of illness or disability for at least 28 weeks and you normally live in Northern Ireland, and have lived in Northern Ireland for 26 weeks in the year before you claim
There are two types of Employment and Support Allowance:
Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance
You may be entitled to claim contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance if you have paid enough National Insurance Contributions.
Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
You may be entitled to claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance if you do not have enough money coming in, or you have not paid enough National Insurance Contributions, and you satisfy the entitlement conditions. This means that you have savings of less than £16,000 and, if you have a partner or civil partner, they work for less than 24 hours a week on average.
If you've been living or working abroad
Living or working abroad can affect your Employment and Support Allowance claim. You may be able to claim if you've either:
- paid enough UK National Insurance Contributions in the past (and the equivalent in certain other countries)
- worked abroad for an employer based in the UK and paid National Insurance Contributions for the first 52 weeks of that employment