Secondary Breast Cancer

Employment Support Allowance

By Wynn

From Monday 27th October 2008 Incapacity (sickness) benefit was replaced by Employment Support Allowance.

Important –This is for New Claims only

For new claims, Employment and Support Allowance will replace Incapacity Benefit and Income Support paid on incapacity grounds. Existing Incapacity Benefit or Income Support customers will initially continue to receive their existing benefits, so long as they satisfy the entitlement conditions.

To make a claim
To start a claim you just need to make a single phone call to Jobcentre Plus on 0800 055 66 88

(Calls to 0800 numbers are free from BT landlines but you may have to pay if you use another phone company)

Customers with speech or hearing difficulties can contact Jobcentre Plus using a textphone on 0800 023 48 88.

Customers unable to claim by phone can claim via a representative or interpreter, by completing a printed claim form or face-to-face through most Jobcentres. This can be arranged via the freephone number.

Employment and Support Allowance offers personalised support and financial help if people are not working due to an illness or disability. It gives people access to a specially trained personal adviser and a wide range of further services.

Medical assessment.
Central to Employment and Support Allowance are the new medical assessments which examine what people can do, rather than what they can’t, and identify what personal support they might need.

Work-focused interviews

Most people claiming Employment and Support Allowance will be expected to take appropriate steps to help prepare for work, including attending a series of work-focused interviews with a personal adviser.

Support Group
Under Employment and Support Allowance people with an illness or disability that means they are unable to undertake any form of work-related activity will get increased financial support and will not be expected to prepare for a return to work.

For a lot more information on the background of this new benefit and for downloadable factsheets see the DWP site

Further information, help and advice

Benefit Enquiry Line - BEL
England, Wales and Scotland - Tel: 0800 88 22 00 Textphone: 0800 24 33 55

Northern Ireland - Tel: 0800 220 674
Textphone: 0800 243 787

For people with disabilities, their carers and representatives. It is part of the Department for Work and Pensions. BEL offers confidential advice and information on benefits and how to claim them. In addition they can also send out an extensive range of leaflets and claim packs and help you to complete a claim form over the phone.


Directgov brings together the widest range of public service information and services online.
Produced by the Central Office of Information, Directgov provides information from across UK government departments on topics ranging from travel safety and parental leave, to special educational needs, local NHS services, and benefits. The site also brings together an increasing number of online government services - including being able to download and/or complete certain benefit claim forms online.

Disability and Carers Service

Part of the Department for Social Development in Northern Ireland
For people living in Northern Ireland
  • Disability Living Allowance: 028 9090 6182
  • Attendance Allowance: 028 9090 6178
  • Carers Allowance: 028 9090 6186
Textphone: 0800 243 787

Citizens Advice Bureau

Provides independent advice on many issues including benefits. Listed in the phone book under 'Citizens Advice Bureaux'. Also, see their excellent website:

Department for Work and Pensions

Their website provides a list of claim forms that you can download or fill in online for benefits, allowances, pensions and other payments -