Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) introduction

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) provides financial help to people who are unable to work because of illness or disability. It also provides personalised support to those who are unable to work.

Information for claimants

This information is for Northern Ireland only.

If you live in England, Scotland or Wales visit https://www.gov.uk/employment-support-allowance

Read more information about Employment and Support allowance on nidirect:

Making a claim

To make an Employment and Support Allowance claim:

Advisers and claimant representatives

Employment and Support Allowance is designed to enable your clients or constituents to achieve their full potential through work, and to support those for whom work is not a viable option. The Department aims to work closely with advisers, claimant representative groups and elected representatives to ensure our shared claimants get the information, advice and support they need.

Healthcare professionals

Employment and Support Allowance has not meant significant changes to the way healthcare professionals deal with patients or the paperwork they complete. The Department already asks GPs to fill in forms to provide us with information about patients, and some of the forms have changed.


If any of your employees are receiving Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and this were to stop or no longer be payable, that employee may well transfer to Employment and Support Allowance. For this to happen, you are required to supply them with an SSP1 form.

More information

Other reports and plans

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