There are two types of employment and support allowance (ESA): contribution-based ESA and income-related ESA.
To be entitled to contribution-based ESA you must have paid enough national insurance contributions over a certain period of time.
What about savings or other income, will that make a difference?
Other income or savings will not be taken into account, with the exception of any occupational or personal pension you receive. This may reduce how much contribution-based ESA you are entitled to.
How long does contribution-based ESA last?
Contribution based ESA can be paid for up to 365 days as long as you are accepted as being incapable of work and are placed in the work-related activity group after the assessment period, which should be the first 13 weeks of your claim. If you are placed in the support group there will be no time limit on how long you can receive contribution based ESA.
What if I have not paid enough national insurance contributions?
You may be able claim income-related ESA instead. Any other income either you (and/or your partner if you have one) receive will be taken into account, as will any savings. If you have to much you may not be eligible.
Some people are able to receive both contribution-based and income-related ESA.