DWP issues new warning to claim Covid benefits in new ESA payment rules


If you are applying for benefits and have been affected by coronavirus, the DWP has issued new guidelines that will be helpful to you.

The government says households affected by Covid or who need to self-isolate at home due to close contact or prior to an operation can find cash help if they are not eligible for statutory sickness benefit.

Previously, the councils provided test and follow-up support payments of £ 500, but this program ended on January 31, 2021, leaving the only option left is state support.

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The Department for Work and Pensions released an update this month on getting benefits if you have been affected by the reports from Covid BirminghamLive.

It indicates that you may be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you cannot claim statutory sickness benefit and one of the following applies to you or your child:

  • you may have or recover from Covid-19
  • you are isolating yourself because you have come into contact with someone who may have Covid-19
  • your doctor or health care professional has advised you to self-isolate before going to hospital for surgery
  • you are in quarantine due to return from abroad rules

However, the DWP has warned that if you try to claim ESA because of Covid-19, you will need to provide evidence to support your claim.

Once you have applied for the allowance, you will be contacted by phone and let you know when to provide proof and where to send it.

If you or your child is self-isolating and you cannot work because of Covid-19, you can get an ‘isolation note’ online from NHS 111 if you have not worked for seven days or more. You don’t need to go to your doctor or hospital.

If you have been notified by the NHS or public health authorities that you have come into contact with someone with Covid-19, your notification will be the required proof.

And if your doctor has advised you to self-isolate before going to the hospital for surgery, the DWP will need to see the letter confirming the date of your surgery.

Your travel information is proof of quarantine if you are returning from abroad.

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What is New Style ESA?

New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for those who have a disability or health problem that affects their ability to work. And that can include Covid-19.

Your savings (or those of your partner) will not affect the amount of New Style ESA paid to you. If your partner is working, it does not affect your request.

Most income is not taken into account, but a personal pension can affect the amount you can receive.

The DWP says you can usually work while claiming the ESA if it’s less than 16 hours per week and you don’t earn more than £ 143 per week.

You will also need to have paid sufficient national insurance contributions, usually within the last two or three years – national insurance credits are also taken into account.

How much does New Style ESA cost?

First, you get the evaluation rate while your application is being studied. This normally lasts 13 weeks.

During this period, you receive up to £ 59.20 per week if you are under 25, or up to £ 74.70 per week if you are 25 or over.

After being assessed as eligible for ESA, you are placed in one of two groups

If it is determined that you will be able to return to work in the future, you will be placed in the work-related activities group and receive up to £ 74.70 per week.

Otherwise, if it is decided that you are not able to work, you enter the support group and receive up to £ 114.10 per week. People in this group are also entitled to the increased disability premium and may also be eligible for the severe disability premium. People in this group are also unaffected by the benefit limit – a limit that usually applies to the amount you can receive in government installments.

The ESA is paid to your account every two weeks.

If you get New Style ESA, you may also be able to receive universal credit at the same time. To learn more about how Universal Credit and ESA influence each other, click here.

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