Are you unfit for work?

Benefits for those are unable to work because of perhaps illness are subject to more myths and misunderstanding than probably any other benefit group.

Do not be discouraged by the stories of scroungers and work shy claimants, as we show these benefits are complicated and not always easy to get.

GEMAP are here to help you through each step of the process to help you get what you are entitled to.

Employment Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and support allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people with limited capability for work because of ill health and/or disabilities.


How to claim

The quickest way to claim is by calling 0800 055 6688

You should seek help with this form even if it’s just double checking the information you put in.

Once you make your claim you will be placed on the assessment phase which will last for a maximum of 13 weeks. During this phase you will be assessed under the work capability assessment

What is a work capability assessment?

It’s an assessment carried out by an interview of what you can and cannot do against a range of physical tests, such as standing, lifting etc. It can also look at mental health factors such as stress or anxiety.

This is a point based system, and is quite complicated, it may be in your best interests in getting help to understand this and how the test is applied.

It is important to understand that this test takes no account of the type of illness, disease, or disability that you have it is only measuring your capability both Physical and Mental.

If you are found to be unfit for work, you will be placed in one of two categories:


1 The work related activity group

If you are in this group the DWP think that although you are unfit for work that you could, with help, find a job and you will therefore need to attend a work focussed interview.

2 The support group

If you are placed in this group you are deemed unfit for work and not likely to find work and do not need to attend any work focussed interviews

There is one final part of the Puzzle


There are two types of ESA

Income related

If you are do not have enough National Insurance contributions or credits to qualify for contributory ESA you will get this, although the amount paid will be dependent upon other factors such as other money, savings you have coming in.


You will qualify for this version if you have enough National Insurance contributions or credits. If you are in the Work focussed activity group this will be paid for twelve months, after this time period you can continue to be paid Income related ESA, depending on your household income. If you are in the support group you will get paid indefinitely

All of this may seem daunting but don’t worry GEMAP can help you to through all of this. I would like to speak to an advisor, click the link below...

I would like to discuss this with a GEMAP advisor

What if I don’t agree with the decision?

You have the right to appeal. For more information, see here: Benefit Appeals

Statutory Sick Pay

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is the minimum amount employers must pay to employees who are off work because of illness, disability, industrial injury or disease see more...

If you are Employed part time or full time, you are entitled to Statutory sick pay. If you are working and earn at least £112 per/week and are sick for 4 or more days, You can be paid this for up to 28 weeks.
If your employer states they cannot pay you Statutory sick pay they must provide you with an SSP1 form.


If you cannot get statutory sick pay you may be entitled to ESA. See above.

If you have any difficulty see a Gemap advisor for further advice.

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