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How much ESA can you get

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

Not everyone gets the same amount of ESA, so we can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll get before you apply. However, there are standard amounts you could get.

ESA rates

While you’re waiting for your application to be assessed

This is called the ‘assessment phase’ - this usually lasts for 13 weeks but could be longer.

If you're aged 25 or over, you'll get up to £73.10 per week. 

If you're aged 24 or less, you'll get up to £57.90 per week. This will increase once you're assessed and the ESA Centre has decided that you're entitled to ESA.

If you’re a carer or have a severe disability, you could get an extra amount (called a premium).

If you apply for income-related ESA and you're in a couple, the standard amount you'll get will be £114.85. If you’re in a couple and one of you is under 18 you’ll get less than the standard amount for couples aged over 18.

If your application is approved

If the ESA Centre have decided you’re not fit for work (ie you have limited capability for work), you’ll be put into either the ‘support group’ or the ‘work-related activity group’.

If you're in the support group

You’ll get up to £109.65 a week. You’ll be in this group if the ESA Centre decides that you’re not well enough to work and not well enough to be helped to improve your chance of getting work in the future.

If you’re entitled to income-related ESA, you’ll get an extra £15.90 a week, called the Enhanced Disability Premium. If you’re in a couple this will be £22.85.

If you were getting a premium during the assessment phase as a carer or someone with a severe disability, this will continue.

You can claim contribution-based ESA as long as you need it.

You’ll get up to £73.10 a week if you’ve never claimed ESA before. You can get up to £102.15 a week if you’re already on ESA, or you’ve been moved onto ESA automatically from Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disability Allowance or Income Support. 

You’ll be in this group if the ESA Centre decides that you’re not well enough to work but are well enough to be helped to improve your chances of getting work in the future.

Once you’re assessed, any extra money you get should be backdated to the 14th week of your claim.

If you were getting a premium during the assessment phase as a carer or someone with a severe disability, this will continue.

If you get contribution-based ESA, it’ll last for only 1 year.

When your contribution-based ESA ends after 1 year

You might:

  • qualify for income-related ESA - check if your're eligible
  • be able to apply for contribution-based ESA again - at least 12 weeks after your contribution-based ESA ended
  • qualify for a Welfare Supplementary Payment (WSP) for up to one year. The WSP team will contact you if you are eligible.
  • qualify again for contribution-based ESA if your health worsens and the ESA Centre reassesses you as being in the support group

Find out about asking for a reassessment because your health has become worse.

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