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Since 31st January 2011, new claims for Incapacity Benefit have not been accepted as new claimants will apply for Employment and Support Allowance. Existing claims for Incapacity Benefit will be reviewed by Jobcentre Plus during the period October 2010 to 2014.

You may be eligible to claim Employment and Support Allowance if you are self employed but unable to work. To meet the criteria for ESA, you must have been unable to work for four consecutive days, which includes weekends. Out of a week, you must have been incapacitated for at least two consecutive days. There are two types of ESA; income related and contribution based. If you have paid adequate Class 2 National Insurance Contributions, you will receive contribution based ESA. If you haven’t paid enough National Insurance Contributions, you will be able to claim income related ESA.

The initial 13 weeks of your claim for ESA are the assessment phase, which is when a Work Capability Assessment is carried out. During this phase you will receive the basic amount of ESA. If the initial assessment indicates that you are not fit to work, you will move on to the main phase from the 14th week of your claim, receiving the basic amount plus an additional amount which is called a component. Within the main phase are two categories; work related activity group and support group.

Paying sufficient Class 2 National Insurance Contributions will ensure that you are eligible to claim certain state benefits, including Employment and Support Allowance, State pension and others.

About The Author

Kara Copple

An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.

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