ESA forms to fill it in via phone or the printed form

Hello all

I am thinking of applying for ESA and I have been advised that I can do it over the phone or by filling in the form myself. I feel a bit suspicious of doing it over the phone but then it could be easier so I just wondered if anyone had any experiences/advice to do with this?


my advice would be, fill it in online or on paper and always keep copies of what you write, as they will ‘lose’ everything you send them. When you post anything to them ring and check they received it a week or so later as otherwise you will be waiting at home assuming they are dealing with your case, when they may not have even started on it as your form/letter was ‘lost’.

Good luck, as in my experience many of their staff don’t know what they are doing and will give you conflicting and incorrect advice.

Hi Eski.

As Perki has said, there is an online version that you can download from the directgov website which you can fill in at your own pace and under no pressure and then print off when it is finished.

I would also suggest joining benefitsandwork (about £20 for the year) and using their guides to filling in the form as they are very good.

Although the form itself seems quite easy to fill in, to have a successful application it really does help to know what is behind some of the questions asked (i.e.that the activities should be repeatable in a timely fashion without causing pain or breathlessness) and that it is important to consider what you can/can’t do for the majority of the time for fluctuating conditions and provide explanations in the boxes provided.

If you can’t manage the subscription message me and you can use mine to download the guides.

Best of luck hun,


Hi Pat, how long were you on Incapacity Benefit before you were swapped over to ESA?

I`ve been on IB since 2000. I believe we are all to be transferred by next year.

luv POllx


I read Pats post that she did the form on the phone but it wouldn’t be my choice.

It’s a complex form and takes some thinking about. For each question there is a yes/no type tick box but then you need to expand on your answer. It is the expansion that I would find hard to do off the top of my head. I like to look back at what I’ve written and perhaps make changes the following day.

My method would be the pdf with the help of Benefits and Work that Mags mentioned.

My ex husband has just done his form and says he was working on it all over the bank holiday weekend. You couldn’t replicate that level of application on the telephone.


Thanks for all your replies, it has been really helpful. Eskix

[/quote] I think we must be talking about different forms. I was on the phone for a while but the questions were not at all detailed. Pat[/quote]

I think that’s the problem with the phone. The ESA50 (application for ESA) can be filled in quite simply with yes or no answers. “can you stand for 10 minutes?” yes/ no/ it varies.
You can leave it at that but it’s better if you expand on your answer, espesially if you choose the “it varies” option. Some of the questions are misleading in that they don’t allow you to say things like - yes, I could do it once but not repeatedly - or I could do it once but need a sleep afterwards (both of which should really be classed as no answers) It is much better if every answer is fleshed out if there is the slightest “…but”