Employment and Support Allowance (ESA): 0800 055 6688


Make your initial Employment and Support Allowance claim over the phone by calling the ESA Contact centre on 0800 055 6688 Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. The following telephone numbers are open between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday.

ESA Applications – 0800 055 6688

The number above is suitable for both income related and contributions based applications but you should be aware of which type you are applying for before you make your call. Since April 2017 applications for ESA have been effected by the rolling out of Universal Credit where all benefits can be combined into a single payment. The introduction of ‘new style’ Employment and Support payments has been a slow, complicated and laborious process and are effected by whether you live in a ‘live service area’ or a ‘full service area’. You can check which one of these areas you live in on the Employment and Support Allowance section of the .Gov website.


If you live in a ‘Live Service Area’ you can apply for Universal Credit over the phone on: 0800 328 9344.

If you live in a ‘Full Service Area’ the number you need is: 0800 328 5644.

ESA Applications Textphone – 0800 055 4888

Customers who have visual impairment can use a textphone to make their ESA application on 

Report a change in Circumstances – 0800 169 0310

It is important that you notify the ESA helpline as soon as possible if you experience a change in your circumstances for example you get better, find work, or move house. The number you need for this purpose is 0800 055 4888.