ESA Head Office

0843 178 4216

Call 0843 178 4216 to connect to the ESA office for help with your benefits claim. No, this isn’t the European Space Agency – it’s the Employment and Support Allowance helpline. ESA offers financial support from the government to people unable to work due to illness or disability. It also provides help so that these people can work if they want to. ESA is one of the benefits which the Jobcentre handles as part of the Department for Work and Pensions.

ESA Contact Numbers

You can speak to somebody about your ESA claim from Monday to Friday during the following opening hours. Always try to call as soon as possible if you experience an issue which will affect your ESA. The helplines close at the weekend, so if you need to call during that time you must wait until Monday. The helplines are often extremely busy during peak periods such as early morning and lunch. If you can’t get through and don’t have time to wait on hold, please try again later in the day.

Department
Phone Number
Opening Times
Claims
0843 178 4216
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed
ESA (Contributions-Based and Income-Related)
0843 178 4217
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed
ESA (New Style)
0843 178 4218
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed
Change in Circumstances
0843 178 4219
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed
Complaints
0843 178 4220
(Mon-Fri) 8am –6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed
Challenge Decisions
0843 178 4221
(Mon-Fri) 8am – 6pm
(Sat-Sun) Closed

Claims

Call 0843 178 4216 in the first instance, to find out more information about ESA. You can check if you are eligible for ESA and make a new claim. As long as you are present when they call to give permission, someone else can speak on your behalf. When you apply for ESA, you must have all your information ready. This includes your national insurance number, medical certificate, GP contact details, your contact numbers, housing details, council tax bill, employment information, and bank account details.

ESA (Contribution-Based and Income-Related)

Contribution-based ESA is for people who have paid enough National Insurance. It lasts for one year in the work-related activity group or has no limit in the support group. Income-related ESA is paid on its own or on top of contribution-based ESA if claimants have low incomes. Call 0843 178 4217 for assistance if you currently receive either or both of these types of ESA. You can call about Work Capability Assessments, which might change the group you are assigned to and your payments.

ESA (New Style)

If you live in an area with a full Universal Credit roll-out, you will receive ‘new style’ ESA. You can get this benefit on its own or in conjunction with Universal Credit. However, the ESA payment is deducted from the Universal Credit, so you may not get extra money. Call 0843 178 4218 if you are a claimant of ‘new style’ ESA and need help with your existing claim. Especially if you are claiming multiple benefits at once, you may end up changing your ESA or transferring to different benefits.

Change in Circumstances

In order to receive ESA, you agree to the terms of your claimant contract. One of these terms is reductions or a complete stop in payments if you give incomplete information. Some changes in circumstances can affect your eligibility to claim ESA, so you must report them. If you don’t, you could also receive a £50 penalty fine. Call 0843 178 4219 to report a change in your work status, address, health condition, or income. You should call to check if you are unsure whether or not to report something.

Complaints

If something happens to go wrong with your ESA, call 0843 178 4220. You can report mistreatment, unfair waiting times, or administrative errors which have negatively affected you. Call if your ESA was underpaid or delayed, especially if this caused significant financial hardship. Up to 75,000 claimants who transferred from incapacity benefits to ESA between 2011 to 2012 and 2014 to 2015 were massively underpaid. Call if you think this applies to you and the government hasn’t contacted you about it.

Challenge Decisions

If you miss an interview or don’t fulfil set work activities, you could receive benefit sanctions. A sanction will reduce your benefit, but the reduction amount and length of time depend on the circumstances. Call 0843 178 4221 for help if you wish to appeal against a sanction, or apply for a hardship payment. You must do this within one month once informed of the decision. You may also need to ask for help if you claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction in the event that you receive sanctions.

Other Contact Methods

If you aren’t having any luck with the ESA helplines, you can try calling your local Jobcentre. The Jobcentre can help you if you want to make a new claim. You can only call to change details regarding existing claims if that Jobcentre is responsible for your claim. To find the phone number for your Jobcentre, use the Local Office search. You can also find the address this way if you want to write a query or complaint letter. Generally, calling on the phone will resolve any issues much faster.

However, if you do need to send a letter about your ESA claim, don’t send it to the Jobcentre. You must send it to an official benefits delivery centre mail sorting address, so they can process it properly. Find the right address to send ESA mail depending on your location here. There are also FREEPOST addresses you can write to, as per this Freedom of Information request. You won’t have to pay for postage for these, but you can’t get proof of postage for them either.