You can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re under State Pension age and you have a disability or health condition that affects your ability to work.

ESA gives you money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work.

Most new claims are for ‘New Style’ ESA, as income related ESA is now part of Universal Credit.

To get ‘New Style’ ESA you need to have both:

  • worked as an employee or been self-employed
  • paid enough National Insurance contributions in the last 2 to 3 years

You could get Universal Credit at the same time or instead of ‘new style’ ESA. Universal Credit can help with, for example, your housing and childcare costs.

How to claim

Fill in a NSESAF1 claim form to apply for ‘New Style’ ESA.

You can either:

  • download and print the NSESAF1 form
  • call the UC helpline to get one through the post or by email

If you cannot download the form or use the phone, you can get a claim form from your local Jobcentre Plus.

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344

If you cannot hear or speak on the phone:
NGT text relay: Call 18001 then
0800 328 5644 (English)
0800 328 1744 (Welsh)

Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm