ESA help please?

Hi I have been sent an ESA50 form for the first time. Can anyone tell me the importance of it please as I do not actually get any money, but I think I get my stamp paid.


Sorry for the late answer – I only just spotted your post.

How do you know that you will get no money? Is it because you have not paid NI and have a working partner so are not eligible for income related ESA?

If you fill in the ESA50 (lovely form!) and are awarded ESA but no money they will pay National insurance credits (Class 1) for each complete week that you have limited capability for work. These credits contribute towards entitlement to State Retirement Pension.

These credits may also help you to qualify for contribution based ESA at a future date. But the rules are complicated and I can’t say that I fully understand them.

Your motivation for filling the form in is somewhat diminished because you have no expectation of payment. Only you can know how important a full state pension is (If you have other resources it may not be your top priority) On the other hand you can approach the form with a lighter heart than someone who is desperate to get it.

Basically – what have you got to loose? It will take you a few hours but you will get NI paid so it’s worth the ink.

Usually I would suggest the benefits and Work website for help with the form but it cost £20.00 to join and you may not consider it worth paying in the circumstances. If you Google Free ESA Guides you will find help.


Hi -a little extra information

It was irritating me not knowing about NI credits for ESA so I’ve spent a bit of time finding out.

Being on ESA pays Class 1 credits.

To qualify for Contribution based ESA you need to have paid Class 1 for the one of the previous 3 years The second condition is that you need to have paid or been credited with contributions for the last 2 years.

So – say somebody is on ESA for a year and then gets a job for a year only to have to give it up again due to ill health. They are able to fulfill the NI requirements with just this one year of work because they also have a year of NI credits paid for by the ESA to add to it

This makes it important for anyone who feels able to try work again – they will put themselves back on contribution based ESA after just 12 months if they also have the previous year of NI credits from ESA.


Thank you Jane for your reply. Do you know if any outcome can affect my DLA? I know that this is all set to change next year anyway.


I read somewhere that a result of zero points on ESA prompted a review of the applicant’s DLA but it would be just that – a review, nothing automatic.


Thanks again Jane.

I have heard so many horror stories about ESA that I am wondering wether I can go through it all


Need some advice please, iv bin of work since 2nd dec wilth 1, a relapes 2, an adverse reaction to my injection system which resulted in 2 hospital stays one for a week and 2 lots of antibiotics for a chest infection so bin a rough few months. I had a visit from HR yesterday from my work to assess me bout a return to work, he said I WAS NOT WELL ENOUGH TO RETURN TO WORK YET. My problem is my work did not pay me this month as my SSP has run out so no money now or til i return to work which will b a fazzed retun (if im well enough it will b 7th april) I do get some DLA but thats it. im now worried sick. what can i door is there something i can apply for…it will take weeks if i can so guna b very tight finacialy.

My job is demanding and requires lots of lifting so need to b 100% am only half way there if i go back at all.


When SSP runs out (after 28 weeks) you need to apply for ESA. Your employer should have given you form SSP1 as the time came to an end. This is the most straightforward way for you to apply so I would contact HR and ask for it. You will be put on the assessment stage of ESA and during this period (13 weeks) the DWP will send you form ESA50 to fill in. You will need to continue to get notes from your GP until DWP assess you as having limited capacity for work.

I have just reread your post - if you went sick on Dec 2nd your SSP has not run out yet. It has only been 16 or 17 weeks. That is why they have not sent you the SSP1. You have 10 more weeks of sick pay at £86.70 per week. You need to ring HR or payroll and find out what the snaffu is. Statutory sick pay is exactly that - a legal requirement. Your employer has no choice about paying it.


Be brave.

There are horror stories but its not all doom and gloom. My experience is that correctly completed forms have no difficulty.
What have you got to loose?


Hi jane

Thank u for the advice i will call them tom am, but does it matter that i only work 16hrs a week ? cos when i foned yesterday after cin a zero on my pay slip he said i dont pay enough NI hence i dont get any more pay, but its HO that have said im still not well enough to return, this i no. I havnt rec an SSP1 from them or any warning of my lack of pay

paula x