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Can I Claim State Benefits?

There are various types of benefits that you can claim from the Government if you are ill or disabled.

Employment and Support Allowance

If you are ill or disabled, you can apply for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)To claim for ESA you must have a Work Capability Assessment in order to see what extent your illness or disability affects your ability to work.

Once you have been assessed a decision will be made as to whether you are entitled to ESA.  If you are found to be entitled, you will be placed into one of two groups:

  • work-related activity group, where you’ll have regular interviews with an adviser
  • support group, where you don’t have interviews

How much am I entitled to?

How much ESA you get depends on:

  • your circumstances, such as your income
  • the type of ESA you qualify for
  • where you are in the assessment process

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

You may be able to get help with some of the extra costs caused by long term ill-health or disability. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself.

You’ll be assessed by a health professional to work out the level of help you can get. Your rate will be regularly reviewed to make sure you’re getting the right support.

Attendance Allowance

If you are physically or mentally disabled, aged 65 or over and you need help with your personal care, you can claim for Attendance Allowance. It’s paid at two different rates and how much you get depends on the level of care that you need because of your disability. The other benefits you get can increase if you get Attendance Allowance.

Carer’s Allowance

If someone cares for you for at least 35 hours a week and they get certain benefits, they can claim Carer’s AllowanceThe person who cares for you doesn’t have to be related to or live with you. Carer’s Allowance can affect the other benefits that you and your carer get and your carer will have to pay tax on it if their income is over the Personal Allowance.

Where to get more information

Benefits and Work

Benefits and Work is an organisation that is independent of Government and can help you with understanding the various benefits and helping you to claim.

Benefits and Work was launched in 2002 (and became a limited company in October 2006) by advice worker turned barrister Holiday Whitehead and benefits writer and trainer Steve Donnison, to provide information about benefits and work.

You can take their PIP self-test which allows you to score yourself for the daily living and mobility components of PIP just by clicking with your mouse.

They also have a free ESA self-test which allows you to assess yourself using the ESA work capability assessment which will show whether you are eligible for employment and support allowance (ESA), and if so, whether you should be in the work-related activity group (WRAG) or the support group.

A subscription to Benefits and Work costs £19.95 for a full year.

Disability Rights UK

Disability Rights UK is the leading charity of its kind in the UK. They are run by and for people who have experience of disability or health conditions. Disability Rights UK has lots of information to help disabled people including a Guide to Personal Independence Payments.

For more support check out our online community:


Date updated: 17.03.21 (V1.1)
Review date: 23.05.21

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