Millions of Brits are set to benefit from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rate increases from April 2024.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirmed last November that most benefits will increase for the 2024/25 financial year.

Benefits such as universal credit, state pension, and some disability benefits will go up by 6.7%, in line with the September consumer price index (CPI) inflation figure.

This is good news for hard-up households who are continuing to struggle with high living costs including energy bills which rose again in January 2024.

Some critics, however, argue the increases do not align with the soaring cost of living expenses.

Among the benefits increasing is employment and support allowance (ESA) which is given to help with extra costs if you have a disability or health condition that impacts how much you can work.

Several really common health conditions including mental disorders, respiratory conditions and digestive issues could see you qualify for the money. 

According to DWP data, 23 groups of medical conditions could make you eligible for ESA. They are as follows:

  • Certain infectious and parasitic diseases
  • Neoplasms
  • Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs and certain diseases involving the immune mechanism
  • Endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases
  • Mental and behavioural disorders
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Diseases of the eye and adnexa
  • Diseases of the ear and mastoid process
  • Diseases of the circulatory system
  • Diseases of the respiratory system
  • Diseases of the digestive system
  • Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous system
  • Disease of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue
  • Diseases of the genito-urinary system
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and the puerperium
  • Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period
  • Congenital malformations, deformations, and chromosomal abnormalities
  • Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings not elsewhere classified
  • Injury, poisoning, and certain other consequences of external causes
  • External causes of morbidity and mortality
  • Factors influencing health status and contact with health services
  • Codes for special purposes
  • Unknown or claimants without a diagnosis on the system

How do I apply for ESA and which conditions qualify?

You can apply for ESA online here or by phone on 0800 055 6688. To apply you’ll require the following:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your bank or building society account number and sort code (you can use a friend or family member’s account if you do not have one)
  • your doctor’s name, address, and telephone number
  • a fit note (sometimes called a ‘sick note’ or a ‘statement of fitness for work’) if you’ve not been able to work for more than seven days in a row because of a disability or health condition
  • details of your income if you’re working
  • the date your statutory sick pay (SSP) ends if you’re claiming it

Like other benefits, ESA rates are rising from April 2024 by 6.7% in line with CPI inflation. The new weekly rates and how much they have increased are as follows:

Personal allowances:

  • Single under 25: £71.70 (from £67.20)
  • Single, 25 or over: £90.50 (from £84.80)
  • Lone parent, under 18: £71.70 (from £67.20)
  • Lone parent, over 18: £90.50 (from £84.80)


  • Both under 18: £71.70 from (67.20)
  • Both under 18 with child: £108.30 (from £101.50)
  • Both under 18 (main phase): £90.50 (from £84.80)
  • Both under 18 with child (main phase): £142.30 (from £133.30)
  • Both over 18: £142.25 (from £133.30)


  • Enhanced disability, single: £20.85 (from £19.55)
  • Enhanced disability, couple: £29.75 (from £27.90)

Severe disability

  • Severe disability, single: £81.50 (from £76.40)
  • Severe disability, couple (lower rate): £81.50 (from £76.40)
  • Severe disability, couple (higher rate): £163 (from £152.80)
  • Carer: £45.60 (from £42.75)


  • Pensioner, single with work-related activity component: £91.70 (from £82.55)
  • Pensioner, single with support component: £79.95 (from £71.55)
  • Pensioner, single with no component: £127.65 (from £116.25)
  • Pensioner, couple with work-related activity component: £154.75 (from £139.85)
  • Pensioner, couple with support component: £143 (from £128.85)
  • Pensioner, couple with no component: £190.70 (from £173.55)


  • Work-related activity: £35.95 (from £33.70)
  • Support group: £47.70 (from £44.70)

ESA helps with extra costs if you have a disability or health condition that impacts how much you can work.