ESA, or Employment and Support Allowance, is a government benefit in the UK for people who are unable to work due to illness or disability. It financially supports people who can’t work and helps people get into work if they want to find employment. It is one of the benefits which is being replaced by Universal Credit. If you want to cancel your ESA claim, then you can use the information in this guide to stop claiming ESA.
Cancel by Telephone
1) There are two different groups for ESA claimants, but whichever one you are in, you can call the DWP on 0843 178 4638. Press 1 to continue after the first recorded message, then do the same again after the next one. It will ask you to hold, and then to say your reason for calling. You can say “cancel Employment and Support Allowance” or wait for the numbered options. Press 1 for an existing ESA claim and keep holding.
2) It will connect you to the next available ESA adviser at the DWP. They will ask you for your full name, date of birth, National Insurance Number, and maybe your phone number and address as well. This is to confirm that you are the claimant so that they can discuss the claim with you. They can tell you how it will affect you if you cancel your claim – such as losing National Insurance contributions if you’re still entitled.
3) You should explain why you are cancelling your claim, for example, if you are no longer ill or if you are getting financial support from a new source. They will tell you if you need to provide any evidence for the proof of dates so that they can check that you receive the right amount of ESA. If they have overpaid you then you might have to pay it back, or they might find that they still owe you a payment when you cancel. You should call in advance if you will not be able to attend an appointment to notify them of cancellation.
Universal Credit is slowly replacing older benefits like ESA around the country. This newer benefit takes advantage of newer technology, meaning that you can only apply for and monitor your claim online. For the time being, claimants are unable to do this for benefits like ESA. If you want to contact the DWP online to cancel your ESA claim, then you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the only e-mail address available to the public, so every e-mail has to filter through it before they forward them to the right departments within the DWP. This means that it is likely to take longer to cancel your ESA claim, which could cause problems if you have ongoing responsibilities relating to your claim before they cancel.
Cancel by Post
You also have the option of requesting the cancellation of your ESA claim by post. Rather than writing to the DWP head office or a random sorting office PO box, you can write to the Jobcentre which deals with your ESA claim directly. Find the address for your Jobcentre and their phone number by searching here.
When you send a letter, make sure that you use a trackable type of postage so that you have a record of when it is delivered. Date the letter and include your name, date of birth, and own address. If you have evidence of the date that your entitlement will end, such as proof of a job offer or an expiring sick note, then include a copy with your letter explaining why you want to cancel your ESA claim. This is a slower method, and the DWP might have to get in touch with you to confirm details before they can cancel your claim. You should not miss scheduled appointments until you receive confirmation that they are closing your claim and you no longer have to attend. You may have to call them yourself if your claim is still open.