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DWP warning as people with these 21 medical conditions could miss out on £510 cash boost


People living with certain medical conditions are being urged to check if they qualify for a support payment worth hundreds of pounds a month. Known as the employment and support allowance (ESA), the benefit is available to those under state pension age who have a disability that affects how much they can work.

As of last month the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) raised the amount of ESA you can get by 6.7 percent.

This means some people will be able to get as much as £127.65 a week – or £510.60 a month.

However, there are certain criteria you must satisfy to qualify for the benefit.

You can apply for this “new-style” ESA if you are under state pension age and you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

But you also need to have both worked as an employee or been self-employed and paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last few years.

Those who claim jobseeker’s allowance or statutory sick pay are not eligible for the ESA, but you could get it if you receive universal credit at the same time – although this will mean your universal credit is reduced.

What medical conditions qualify for ESA?

You could be eligible for ESA if you have certain medical conditions which affect your ability to work.

Here is the latest list of DWP conditions that may qualify you for ESA:

  • Certain infectious and parasitic diseases
  • Neoplasms
  • Diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism
  • Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases
  • Mental and behavioural disorders
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Diseases of the eye and adnexa
  • Diseases of the ear and mastoid process
  • Diseases of the circulatory system
  • Diseases of the respiratory system
  • Diseases of the digestive system
  • Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system
  • Disease of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
  • Diseases of the genito-urinary system
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium
  • Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period
  • Congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings not elsewhere classified
  • Injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes
  • External causes of morbidity and mortality
  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services.

How much ESA can I get?

In line with other benefits, ESA increased by 6.7 percent in April this year.

These are the new weekly rates – but note that ESA is paid every two weeks:

Personal allowances

Single under 25: £71.70 (from £67.20)
Single aged 25 or over: £90.50 (from £84.80)
Lone parent under 18: £71.70 (from £67.20)
Lone parent over 18: £90.50 (from £84.80)

Couple

Both under 18: £71.70 from (67.20)
Both under 18 with child: £108.30 (from £101.50)
Both under 18 (main phase): £90.50 (from £84.80)
Both under 18 with child (main phase): £142.30 (from £133.30)
Both over 18: £142.25 (from £133.30)

Premiums

Enhanced disability, single: £20.85 (from £19.55)
Enhanced disability, couple: £29.75 (from £27.90)

Severe disability

Severe disability, single: £81.50 (from £76.40)
Severe disability, couple (lower rate): £81.50 (from £76.40)
Severe disability, couple (higher rate): £163 (from £152.80)
Carer: £45.60 (from £42.75)

Pensioner

Pensioner, single with work-related activity component: £91.70 (from £82.55)
Pensioner, single with support component: £79.95 (from £71.55)
Pensioner, single with no component: £127.65 (from £116.25)
Pensioner, couple with work-related activity component: £154.75 (from £139.85)
Pensioner, couple with support component: £143 (from £128.85)
Pensioner, couple with no component: £190.70 (from £173.55)

Components

Work-related activity: £35.95 (from £33.70)
Support group: £47.70 (from £44.70)

How do I apply for ESA?

You can apply for ESA online here or by phone on 0800 055 6688.

You’ll need:

  • Your National Insurance number
  • Your bank or building society account number and sort code (you can use a friend or family member’s account if you do not have one)
  • Your doctor’s name, address, and telephone number
  • A fit note (sometimes called a “sick note” or a “statement of fitness for work”) if you’ve not been able to work for more than seven days in a row because of a disability or health condition
  • Details of your income if you’re working
  • The date your statutory sick pay (SSP) ends if you’re claiming it.

Once you’ve applied you’ll be contacted by phone and told when to give the evidence and where to send it.

You’ll normally get the “assessment rate” for 13 weeks while your claim is being assessed. This will be:

  • Up to £67.20 a week if you’re aged under 25
  • Up to £84.80 a week if you’re aged 25 or over.

If it takes longer than 13 weeks to assess your claim you’ll continue getting the assessment rate until you get a decision or until your ESA is due to end.

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