ESA advice req'd

Have managed to get early pension due to ms and related I’ll health, not entitled to ESA but does anyone know if I’m entitled to ESA incapacity ? Am 55 this year so hope am entitled to it if can never work again and have 34 yrs of full nat ins conts. ? Anyone know? Don’t want to bother tackling all these horrid forms and medicals if not entitled, can’t work it out from web site info and getting rather stressed with it all. X


Don’t understand your question…there is no such thing as incapacity ESA. Why do you feel you are not entitled to ESA?Are you talking about contribution based ESA? Citizens Advice can talk you through it.

This explains it briefly, hope you get sorted

The link above should give you all the details but I’ll try and distill it just in case you have cog fog and get fatigued by too much information.

  • If you are too ill to work you are entitled to ESA.

There are 2 groups of ESA – Work Related Activity Group and Support Group depending on the degree of disability as judged by DWP.

  • If you have made sufficient NI contributions you will be eligible for contribution based ESA for at least 12 months
  • Contribution based ESA is reduced if you have a personal pension.
  • (The first £85.00 of your pension is disregarded; benefit is reduced by half the remainder. For example if your pension is £100 - £85.00 is ignored and £15.00 remains. ESA is reduced by half £15.00)

Once 12 months is over contribution based ESA ends and you would need to apply for income based ESA (you don’t have to prove that you are sick/disabled again its purely financial) Income based benefits take account of all the money coming into the household so you would not get it if you had a working partner or if your pension is over £111.00 p/w.
If you were classed among the most disabled and placed in the support group of ESA there is no time limit on contribution based ESA and you would continue to get it even if your partner earned mega bucks.

There is no doubt that the forms are arduous but worth doing even if you only get the benefit for 12 months. Many of us have found the guides to filling in the forms at extremely helpful. It cost £20.00 to join but is money well spent


Does anyone know how much early pension you would need to get for ESA to be zero please?

If the ESA rate is £105, does this mean than an occupational pension of over £290 per week (£85 plus 2x£105) mean there is no point in completing the forms?

That’s what I assume. My occupational pension is £265 a week (payable from next week) and I’m just waiting to find out what it will go down to - I’ll let you know.


Yes I think that is probably correct. I wouldn’t go through all the hoopla if you’re not going get any money out of it.

If you are in support group do you still get ESA regardless of early personal pension or partner income??

If you are in the support group you can claim contribution based ESA (depending on NI contributions) indefinitely.
Contribution based ESA does not take into account your partners income or any savings you might have but personal pensions are deducted following the rules I mentioned earlier.

Thanx all of you spec wendels think I understand it now, what happens when you get to state pension age tho? Does the ESA stop and state pension start? Hope so cos I’m going to be getting very little ESA.

Yes as soon as you hit pensionable age you can stop filling in those dreadful forms and just get your money.

You can find out what your pensionable age is at:

As you near this time they will write to you - you don’t have to do a thing (makes a change)