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Taking time off work for health reasons is usually enough of a worry without adding financial pressure into the mix. Most people who work full or part time for an employer receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Sadly this isn’t an option for people working for themselves. Fortunately there are other benefits available for self-employed people who can’t work because of illness, injury, or disability.

What is the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) can be claimed by people who are employed, self-employed, unemployed, or classed as a student. You can only claim it if you are off sick, not getting SSP or Jobseeker’s Allowance, and are under state pension age.

Am I eligible for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)?

To be eligible for ESA you must have a sick note from your Doctor. You’ll also need to complete a claim form called an NSESAF1. The form is available to download from the internet, by request over the phone, or from your local Jobcentre Plus.

Part of the assessment process involves demonstrating that you are unable to work because of your illness, injury, or disability. You might need to complete a Work Capability Assessment questionnaire, or have a medical assessment at an in-person appointment. If you have been diagnosed with a terminal illness then you will not have to be assessed.


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Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

PIP is a benefit allowance for people who have extra care needs or difficulty getting around as a result of a disability or long term health condition. It consists of two components, mobility and daily living. The mobility component is if you need help getting about. The daily living element is for extra help with everyday activities such as washing or dressing.

You can claim for PIP from the ages of 16 to 64, even if you are working. You must show you have needed this type of support for at least 3 months, and expect to need it for at least another 9.

Finding more support

There are other benefits to claim as a self-employed person who needs help with housing, transport, care, and living costs. For more information, the following websites offer free and impartial information.

If you need online accountancy support for your self-employed business, talk to one of our advisors on 020 3355 4047, or get an instant quote online.

About The Author

Elizabeth Hughes

A content writer specialising in business, finance, software, and beyond. I'm a wordsmith with a penchant for puns and making complex subjects accessible. Learn more about Elizabeth.

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