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However, if you qualify for the benefit there are some restrictions on how much you can work Students don’t usually qualify for Employment and Support Allowance, but they may be able to claim contributory Employment and Support Allowance if they’ve paid enough National Insurance contributions.

For more information, contact the Disability Rights UK Disabled Students Helpline on 08 or email [email protected]

ESA replaced Incapacity Benefit and Income Support (paid on the basis of incapacity for work) for new claimants on 27 October 2008.

Jobcentre Plus will transfer existing Incapacity Benefit and Income Support claimants over to ESA by 2014.

This process is not backdating, it is what the law says must happen when you apply.

This rule also applies to men over pension credit age but less than aged 65 who are NOT in receipt of Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (Income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related).

ESA has a medical test, called the Work Capability Assessment, that is broken into two parts: the first determines if you are entitled to ESA at all and looks at your ability to carry out everyday activities.

This would be for the period between when you want your award of Housing Benefit to start and when you actually make your claim.

You must go to regular interviews with an adviser who can help with things like job goals and improving your skills.

You don’t have to go to interviews, but you can ask to talk to a personal adviser.

ESA has two phases: first, an assessment phase during which Jobcentre Plus assess your capability for work.

Secondly, a main phase when you receive the full rate of ESA - depending on which group you are put into.

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