Can I Claim ESA If My Partner Works Full Time? (A Guide)

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This article will answer the question of whether or not you can claim ESA if your partner works full time. Also, the article will mention the circumstances that affect your ESA claim and also introduce what ESA is.

Can I Claim ESA If My Partner Works Full Time?

Yes you can claim Employment Support and Allowance if your partner works full time however the amount you receive depends on two things:

  • The Type Of ESA You Claim
  • How Much Your Savings Are
  • Other Claimed Benefits

We will take a look at these factors in detail and how they affect your ESA. Before that we will first introduce ESA and how it helps people around the United Kingdom.

What Is Employment Support And Allowance (ESA)?

Employment Support and Allowance or ESA is a benefit that is available to people in the United Kingdom if they have a health condition or disability that affects how much you can work. In the current situation, people who were unable to work because of the coronavirus are also eligible for this benefit.

ESA gives you:

  • money to help with living costs if you’re unable to work
  • support to get back into work if you’re able to


An interesting question that pops up when it comes to ESA is whether or not someone is eligible. It is necessary to clarify that you do not need to be employed at the moment to be eligible for this benefit. However, it is necessary to have worked before or have been self employed in the past. It is also mandatory that you must have paid enough national insurance contributions in the last 2 to 3 years to qualify for ESA.

You can be employed, self employed or unemployed when claiming ESA. It is also possible to get Universal Credit at the same time or you could just apply for the New Style ESA – however, there are different conditions that surround this type of ESA which we will discuss later.

ESA & The Covid Pandemic

You can apply for ‘new style’ ESA if you’re unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay and one of the following applies:

  • you or your child might have COVID-19 or you’re recovering from it
  • you or your child are self-isolating because you came into contact with someone who might have COVID-19
  • you’ve been advised by your doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery

If you’re claiming ESA because of COVID-19, you’ll need to give evidence to support your claim.

What Do I Get?

This is another question many people have when applying for ESA. This depends on whether you are working or in the ‘support group’. Nonetheless, there are different things to consider.

What I Get When My Claim Is Being Assessed?

If your claim is being assessed then you will receive the following:

  • up to £59.20 a week if you’re aged under 25
  • up to £74.70 a week if you’re aged 25 or over

Usually it takes up to 13 weeks to assess your claim and decide how much you will get. However, in case this deadline passes and a decision has still not reached you then you will continue to receive the above amounts.

What Happens When The Assessment Is Over?

Once the assessment has been completed and you are declared eligible for this certain benefit then you will fall into either of the two groups:

  • up to £74.70 a week if you’re in the work-related activity group
  • up to £114.10 a week if you’re in the support group

You are paid ESA after every 2 weeks.

What Affects The ESA You Receive?

Let us take a closer look at the following:

  • The Type Of ESA You Claim
  • How Much Your Savings Are
  • Other Claimed Benefits

The Type Of ESA You Claim

There are 3 types of ESA that will be discussed in this article:

  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance: You may receive this benefit if you are sick or have a disability that affects your ability to work. What is unique about this benefit is that it is not affected by how much you or your partner earn or save. New Style ESA is a fortnightly payment that can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit (UC). New Style ESA is a contributory benefit. Normally, this means you may be able to get it if you’ve paid or been credited with enough National Insurance contributions in the 2 full tax years before the year you’re claiming in.
  • Contributory employment and support allowance (ESA): Contributory ESA is more commonly known as contribution-based ESA – as the name suggests, it is based on the National Insurance contributions that you have paid within a set time period. Under Universal Credit, rather confusingly, contributory ESA is known as ‘new-style’ ESA. Some of law follows the Universal Credit rules, rather than ESA
  • ESA: This type of ESA is the one before the ‘New Style’ one and this is affected by how much your partner earns or how much you earn.

How Much Your Savings Are!

You can usually work while you are claiming ESA if both of the following apply:

  • you work less than 16 hours a week
  • you do not earn more than £143 a week

Even if you work more than 16 hours a week you may still be eligible for ESA because this is actually voluntary work however it is necessary that you do not earn more than £143 a week!

You cannot make a new claim for income-related ESA. You’ll continue to get payments while you’re eligible until your claim ends.

Neither your or your partner’s savings or income will affect how much ‘new style’ ESA you’re paid. But a private pension worth more than £85 per week may affect how much you can get.

If you get income-related ESA, your household income and savings worth £6,000 or more may affect how much you can get.

Other Claimed Benefits

Sometimes you can claim ESA even when you are getting other benefits. However, in some circumstances you cannot claim ESA if you are getting other benefits that help you in your daily life.

As a claimer, you can get ESA even if you are getting other benefits like PIP or Universal Credit. However, if you are availing Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Income Support. Then you are not eligible for this type of ESA.

What Is PIP?

PIP stands for Personal Independence Pay that is a non-taxable benefit which can be availed by people who suffer from a long term condition or injury that affects their daily life activities and mobility. 

This means they cannot walk properly or carry out simple or basic tasks such as eating properly or doing simple well being tasks like taking a bath. This benefit is given to people not based on the condition itself but the way it affects the person and their life activities.

It takes quite some time because of the information the concerned department has to process with regards to your case. In this case, the concerned department is the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) which will make a decision after you have completed your medical assessment and have sent in other relevant documents such as your claims and the notes made by the health professional during or with regards to your medical assessment.

Thus, the following 3 sources of information are taking into consideration:

  • Your Claim
  • Your Medical Assessment
  • Health Professionals Comments

Universal Credit

Universal credit is the United Kingdom’s social security payment system for its citizens.  income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, and Income Support; Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit; and Housing Benefit. 

Regardless of the number of children you have, you can apply for this benefit and thus if your claim is successful you will receive monetary benefits to assist in caring for your children that are dependent on you. Also, if these children are above 16 years of age you may still get this benefit if they are enrolled in basic education and not any advanced form of training or skill based education.


This article took a look at whether or not you can get ESA if your partner works full time. The article also looked at what affected the amount of ESA you get, what types of ESA there are and whether or not you can get ESA if you are claiming other benefits.


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