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How much ESA you can get

This advice applies to Scotland

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.

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 much longer.

If you're claiming after being found fit for work

You won't be paid during the assessment stage, unless you have a new condition or your condition has got worse.

If you haven't been found fit for work before

If you're aged 25 or over, you'll get up to £73.10 per week. This will stay the same while your application is assessed. 

If you're aged 24 or less, you'll get up to £57.90 per week. This will stay the same while your application is assessed. 

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 DWP have decided you’re not fit for work (that is, 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 DWP decide 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 £16.40 a week, called the Enhanced Disability Premium. If you’re in a couple this will be £23.55.

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 for as long as you need it.

If you claimed ESA on or after 3 April 2017, you'll get up to £73.10 a week. You can get up to £102.15 a week if you claimed before 3 April 2017, 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 DWP decide 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 you're eligible
  • be able to apply for contribution-based ESA again - at least 12 weeks after your contribution-based ESA ended
  • qualify again for contribution-based ESA if your health worsens and the DWP reassesses you as being in the support group

Find out about asking the DWP to reassess you because your health has become worse.

You can also find out about ESA on GOV.UK.

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