Just because one is disabled, does not reduce one’s importance to society and certainly does not mean that one cannot enjoy a full and meaningful life. A true Welfare State is concerned as much, if not more, with its disabled or physically handicapped citizens, as it is with the healthier ones. However, it is a fact that disability often prevents a person from working, in spite of the deepest desire to work and contribute one’s mite to society. The British government recognizes this, and has an excellent policy initiative to help the disabled and the physically infirm, called the Employment and Support Allowance or ESA. We discuss what is ESA, its eligibility criteria, the application process and the benefits provided. Do read on.
Employment And Support Allowance :
Under Employment and Support Allowance, the government provides a certain weekly payment to the disabled and the physically infirm. In the beginning, for a period of 13 weeks , an assessment is done by the concerned government agency, which assesses whether the applicant for this benefit is indeed disabled and unable to work. If so, the entitlement given by the government under Employment and Support Allowance is made permanent, for the rest of the life of the applicant.
To be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance, the applicant must be a British citizen or a long time resident, he or she must be genuinely disabled or physically handicapped, and must be able to provide medical evidence for the same. The applicant must not be receiving the Job Seeker’s Allowance, and must be either unemployed or self-employed.
The benefits provided by the Employment and Support Allowance falls under 2 phases. In the first phase, a medical assessment of the applicant’s disability is carried out by the concerned agency. This phase lasts for 13 weeks, and during this phase, the applicant for this benefit receives a temporary weekly payment of £ 56.80 if under the age of 25, and £ 71.70 if over 25. If at the end of this phase, if the results of the medical assessment come out positive, and it is indeed proved that the applicant is disabled, the entitlements under this benefit are made permanent. The applicant gets a weekly payment of £ 100.15 if put in the Work Related Group, or £ 106.50 if put in the Support Group. In the Work Related Group, an adviser is appointed who holds regular consultations with the applicant, and helps him or her with work related issues. In the Support Group, an adviser is appointed only if asked for by the applicant, and the applicant is not expected to work as the disability for those in this group is too severe.
How To Apply ?
The easiest way to apply for this policy is over the telephone by making use of the dedicated Employment and Support Allowance contact number and talking to the concerned government agency. Another way is to file claim for this benefit online through the government website www.gov.uk.
Taking care of the disabled and the physically infirm is the most important role that a government of a country that claims to be a Welfare State, has to play. The Employment and Support Allowance is a welcome step in this regard taken by the British government.
Janet is the full-time parent of a beautiful child who works part-time as a social service worker. She works a lot with the disabled, and is firmly of the opinion that a lot more awareness of the disabled and their problems has to be created in the society.She makes it a point to always keep the Employment and Support Allowance contact number in her phone, with the expectation that it might be of some assistance to the next disabled person, who she tries to help.