The support group

If it is decided that you have a limited capability for work-related activity, you will be placed in the support group of claimants. If you are placed in this group, you will not have to undertake work-related activities

The work-related activity group

If it is decided that you do not have a limited capability for work-related activity, you will be placed in the work-related activity group of claimants. You will have to adhere to strict work-related conditions in order to continue receiving the benefit in full. This will involve attending a series of five further work-focused interviews in addition to the initial work-focused interview.

These interviews will normally take place each month and at them the personal adviser will try to help you back into work. As with the initial work-focused interview, the adviser will be using the capability report as a guide. The adviser will draw up an ‘action plan’, which will outline the activities that you could undertake to help you move into work.

How much money do you get on ESA?

The rates of ESA vary depending on which stage of the claims process you are in. At the initial stage you receive a basic amount equivalent to Jobseekers Allowance. Once you have been assessed and assuming you can still claim ESA your amount increases. You can also have various premiums added to this for example if you have children or receive a certain rate of DLA.

To make a claim phone the national contact centre:

Tel: 0800 0 55 66 88

Lines are open from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday. The contact centre will call back if requested.
You can also get a claim form (ESA1) from your local Department for Work and Pensions office or Jobcentre Plus office or download it from the DirectGov website at