The 23 medical conditions that qualify you for £518 DWP monthly payment

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The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is warning people that they could be missing out on hundreds of pounds in additional financial help every month. The DWP provides employment and support allowance (ESA) to approximately 1.7m individuals across the UK.

This benefit is designed to assist with extra costs if you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work. You can apply for 'new-style' ESA if you are below state pension age and you have a disability or health condition that affects how much you can work, but you also need to have both worked as an employee or been self-employed and paid enough National Insurance contributions usually in the last two to three years.

You cannot receive new-style ESA if you get jobseeker's allowance or statutory sick pay, but it is possible to get it if you receive universal credit at the same time. However, if you get both benefits your universal credit payment will be reduced by the amount you get for new-style ESA. To get the latest money stories straight to your inbox twice a week sign up to our newsletter here.

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There are a range of conditions that could mean you're eligible for ESA. Here is everything you need to know about ESA including how much you get, what health conditions qualify, and how to get the money.

How do I apply for ESA and which conditions qualify?

You can apply for ESA online here or by phone on 0800 055 6688. To apply you’ll need:

  • your National Insurance number

  • your bank or building society account number and sort code (you can use a friend or family member’s account if you do not have one)

  • your doctor’s name, address, and telephone number

  • a fit note (sometimes called a ‘sick note’ or a ‘statement of fitness for work’) if you’ve not been able to work for more than seven days in a row because of a disability or health condition

  • details of your income if you’re working

  • the date your statutory sick pay (SSP) ends if you’re claiming it

Once you’ve applied you’ll be contacted by phone and told when to give the evidence and where to send it. You’ll normally get the ‘assessment rate’ for 13 weeks while your claim is being assessed.

This will be:

  • up to £67.20 a week if you’re aged under 25

  • up to £84.80 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

If it takes longer than 13 weeks to assess your claim you’ll continue getting the ‘assessment rate’ until you get a decision or until your ESA is due to end. You’ll be placed into one of two groups if you’re entitled to ESA following your assessment. If you’re able to get back into work in the future you’ll be put into the work-related activity group. Otherwise you’ll be put into the support group.

You’ll get:

  • up to £84.80 a week if you’re in the work-related activity group

  • up to £129.50 a week if you’re in the support group

You will get ESA every two weeks so for example if you are put in the support groups this adds up to £518 per month. If you’re in the support group and on income-related ESA you’re also entitled to the enhanced disability premium. You may also qualify for the severe disability premium. These are extra amounts of money added to your ESA and you can find out more about them here.

What medical conditions qualify for ESA?

According to DWP data there are 23 groups of medical conditions that could make you eligible for ESA. They are as follows:

  • Certain infectious and parasitic diseases

  • Neoplasms

  • Diseases of the blood and blood forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism

  • Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases

  • Mental and behavioural disorders

  • Diseases of the nervous system

  • Diseases of the eye and adnexa

  • Diseases of the ear and mastoid process

  • Diseases of the circulatory system

  • Diseases of the respiratory system

  • Diseases of the digestive system

  • Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system

  • Disease of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue

  • Diseases of the genito-urinary system

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium

  • Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period

  • Congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities

  • Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings not elsewhere classified

  • Injury, poisoning, and certain other consequences of external causes

  • External causes of morbidity and mortality

  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services

  • Codes for special purposes

  • Unknown or claimants without diagnosis on the system