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Employment and Support Allowance: Self-employed

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 226720, tabled on 27 February 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to support self-employed people who need to claim employment support allowance.

Answered on

7 March 2019

We have successfully rolled out Universal Credit in all job centres nationally. Consequently, self-employed people, who have a health condition, can now claim either Universal Credit and/or New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

Claimants who are eligible to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance can do so by calling the Universal Credit helpline to request a claim form or by downloading and printing the form available on Gov.uk. Full details about how to apply (including information requesting forms in alternative formats such as braille) can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-esa

Claimants who are not eligible to claim New Style Employment and Support Allowance can claim Universal Credit online. For those unable to access or use digital services, assistance to make and maintain their claim is available via the Freephone Universal Credit helplines. The Universal Credit Service Centre will establish the best means of support available.

A home visit can be arranged to support a claimant in making their initial claim and completing any other administrative tasks required to ensure their application is completed.

Additionally, to help claimants who may struggle making a claim, Universal Support is available, which is advice, assistance or support to help Universal Credit and New Style Employment and Support Allowance claimants with managing their claim or award.

From 1 April 2019 Citizens Advice (England and Wales) and Citizens Advice Scotland will deliver a new “Help to Claim” service to support vulnerable claimants through the process of making a claim.