How to claim ESA step-by-step

You might be eligible for new style ESA if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work.

Step 1: Check if you are eligible 

You might also be eligible for Universal Credit (external link)  

Start your claim by filling in an NSESAF1 form and arranging a 'new claim appointment' interview. 

Step 2: Attend the appointment with your work coach 

You will agree what actions you will need to take to get payments. This is called a Claimant Commitment. 

Step 3: Get your first payment 

You will get a letter telling you if you will get new style ESA and how much. 

You will get your first payment within two weeks of your interview. 

Give updates about your health and circumstances 

To keep getting new style ESA you must send fit notes regularly, report any change in your circumstances and keep to the commitment you signed at your interview. 

Step 4: Fill in and send the ESA50 form 

You will get form ESA50 in the post within four weeks of your first payment. Return it within 28 days. 

Step 5: Attend your Work Capability Assessment 

You may need to go for a Work Capability Assessment. If you do, you will get a letter telling you where to go and when. 

Step 6: Get a decision about how much you will get 

You will get a letter with a decision. It will also tell you if you will need to be assessed again. 

To keep getting the right amount you will need to report any change in your circumstances. 

Step 7: Check if your payments will stop or if you will be reassessed 

You will be told if your payments will stop and when. 

If you need to be assessed again, you will be sent an ESA50 form. This is normally within three years.